Parishioners donate their corneas to the blind

By Quang Duan, Thanh Nien News

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Four members of a family in Con Thoi Parish in Ninh Binh Province have all signed up to donate their corneas to blind people. Photo: Dinh Dung Four members of a family in Con Thoi Parish in Ninh Binh Province have all signed up to donate their corneas to blind people. Photo: Dinh Dung

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As many as 75 people of a parish in the northern province of Ninh Binh have donated their corneas for 150 blind people since 2007. 
The Con Thoi Parish in the commune of the same name in Kim Son District is also seeing more people singing up to donate corneas (after they die) for corneal grafting surgeries. 
Nguyen Dinh Tu, chairman of the commune’s Red Cross Society, said Kim Son is the locality with the most cornea donors in the country, with 166 among 237 people, of which the Con Thoi Parish has 75 donors. 
The first donor in the parish was Nguyen Thi Hoa, a woman who died in April 2007 at the age of 83. Before her death, Hoa volunteered to give her cornea to a blind neighbor. 
Thanks to her, the blind neighbor was able to see light after a surgery. 
After Hoa, many other people in the parish signed up for cornea donation. So far 242 people, including families, have signed up. 
Nguyen Huu Hoang, director of the Vietnam Eyes Bank, said the country's demand for corneas is very high, with over 1,000 blind people seeking for corneas for transplant. But the bank can offer only 150-180 corneas a year for them.

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