Amy’s Story

Through her Daughter’s Eyes…

Bernadette and Amy are a mother and a daughter who share more than anyone could possibly expect. In 1997, when she was just 17 years old, Amy was diagnosed with brain cancer. She went through numerous surgeries and procedures, and was in remission for 10 years while she enjoyed her family and living life to its fullest.

When her seizures returned, it was an indication her cancer had returned. At that time her doctor estimated Amy had between two months and two years to live. Amy moved into her parents’ home. The cancer spread from her brain into her spine. Focusing on a good quality of life, Amy and her family lived each day celebrating life. Soon Amy moved to a local hospice center, which was a wonderful place that looked more like a resort. Amy was adamant about caring for herself, until the time came that she no longer could.

Amy and her family talked about organ and tissue donation, and Amy wanted to donate whatever she could. She told Bernadette, “Mom, whatever is left of me, if they can use it, they can have it.” At this point, Bernadette wasn’t sure what to do or where to start.

Bernadette spoke with a funeral director who helped her learn more. She would soon learn that, because of Amy’s condition, she would only be able to donate her corneas. It was disheartening, but she would still be able to make a difference. Then a thought occurred to Bernadette.

About three years prior, Bernadette perforated her cornea during a home project. She needed to have a cornea transplant and had planned the surgery for June, but Amy got sick again and her surgery was postponed so she could focus on Amy and her last days. With this in mind, Bernadette asked what the chances would be for her to receive one of Amy’s corneas. At that time, she didn’t realize the urgency needed in making the decision. Amy passed on August 9. One week to the day of Amy’s passing, after many people worked quickly to assist, including the eye bank who secured the logistics and her surgeon who organized the surgery, Bernadette received the gift of sight from her own beautiful and amazing daughter and now sees clearly through her eyes. Bernadette says it’s my Amy wink now.