A Mother’s Calling Restored Through Donation and Transplantation: Miriam Fauth’s Recipient Story
Miriam Fauth is a loving and devoted mother, but that’s not all she is. In homeschooling her kids, she also serves as teacher, coach and bus driver. This lifestyle of love and care has always been her focus and her passion, but her declining vision put all of that in jeopardy.
Miriam suffered from headaches for many years, but it was not until the Summer of 2018 that she experienced a pain in her eye. This pain was caused by a closed-angle attack that put her at risk for total vision loss. She was struggling to fulfil her duties and feared that she’d have to give up her calling of educating her children.
As a mom to young children, the thought of potential blindness was especially frightening. She recalled attending a local theater’s production of The Life of Helen Keller with her children, and she wondered how much of her life would change if she lost her vision. “When you start going through sight problems, you can’t believe you took your sight for granted all those years,” Miriam said. “You can’t believe you didn’t thank God for your sight every moment of every day.”
After researching her condition on the online community named Fuchs’ Friends, Miriam found Dr. John Parker and Parker Cornea. For the first time, Miriam felt hopeful about the future of her vision. She agreed to have a desperately needed corneal transplant using donor tissue. After receiving her transplant, she was in awe of all that she could see. Every morning she would wake up asking “Can I see the ceiling fan? Can I see the trees? The road signs?”
Following her surgery, Miriam began writing letters to Dr. Parker every week as a part of her Sabbath practice, taking the time to slow down and to be grateful for her restored sight. Years later, she writes to him still, thanking him for his encouragement and support and letting him know of the beauty she is able to see in the world. She not only accounts the wonderful places and people she’s now able to see but also expresses gratitude to her doctor and the donor that changed her life with one selfless decision.
Miriam has also written to her donor family, thanking them for a gift she’ll never be able to repay. She wants them to know that every day she honors the life of their loved one by fully living her life and fulfilling the purpose God has for her while she’s still here. “Being a donor changes the life of someone who is still living,” Miriam remarked. “Through the eyes of a donor, someone else can fulfill the purpose God has given them to do.”
Perhaps the biggest change in Miriam’s life since her transplant is that she no longer asks every morning what she can and cannot see. She opens her eyes and sets her sight on living the fullest life she can. She’s able to pursue her purpose in life without the burden of worry because of the selfless decision of a stranger to register and an organ, eye and tissue donor.