Donors help West Yorkshire mum save sight

Jenny Craven, 39, from Bingley, recently had a corneal transplant.
Jenny Craven, 39, from Bingley, recently had a corneal transplant.
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A Yorkshire mum has revealed that she would be all but blind if brave organ donors had not stepped in to save her sight.

Mum-of-one Jenny Craven, 39, from Bingley, had her third corneal transplant in Leeds in June amid a battle with eye condition keratoconus which affects just one in 3,000 people.

Since being diagnosed with the condition, which causes the corneas to weaken, at the age of 10, Jenny has undergone nine operations on her eyes.

The physio has never been able to drive due to her eyesight problems but hopes her latest transplant will change that.

It comes as the YEP-backed Be A Hero organ donation campaign urges people to sign the Organ Donor Register.

“If I hadn’t had these transplants I wouldn’t be able to see now. It’s made a massive difference – a total lifechanger,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve had both eyes working at the same time since I was about nine and if I could drive it would make a massive difference – people take these things for granted.”

But Jenny spent 12 months on the transplant waiting list for the operation amid a lack of corneal donors.

In total 51 individuals gave their corneas or other tissue donations at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in 2015/16 but eyes are thought to be an area many choose not to donate.

Having been through some tough times, Jenny hopes her story will encourage people to sign the register.

“There was a time in 2012 where I really was worried I was going to go blind - my vision was terrible, it wasn’t a good time.

“I’ve got a son and I was thinking at the time, ‘I’m not going to be able to see him grow up’.”

As part of Transplant Awareness Week, people are being asked to sign up on the first ever Be A Hero day on Friday. Visit leedsth.nhs.uk/be-a-hero.

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Toby Rye.

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