An Unusual Valentine gift – By Dr Ify Monye

Chioma lay in bed thinking about how much her life had changed. Two days ago was Valentine’s Day and she felt she had received the best gift ever this year. Her mind went back to the series of events that started two years ago…

She was a mother of two and an experienced make-up artist. To her friends, she was jollof rice – lively, carefree and friendly with everyone. And she was very pretty. They did not call her Oyibo Pepper for nothing. Her one weakness was contact lenses. She wore them often, matching their colour with her attires. Though she didn’t have any eye problem, she loved them because they gave her a mysterious air.

“I hope this your shakara would not land you in trouble one day” her husband would often warn her jokingly.

“I’m always careful dear”, she would reply.

She had looked up all about the care of contact lenses online and tried to follow the rules. Of course, she slipped up sometimes – like falling asleep without taking them off, or running out of the solution and having to improvise.

One day, two years ago, she ran out of luck as she forgot once again to take them off before going to bed after an exceptionally tiring day. She woke up the next morning with an excruciatingly painful red eye. She was out of town on a job and it took a while to see an ophthalmologist. When she did, the doctor said she had developed an infection. In the end, the eye healed with an unsightly scar. It was the first thing people noticed about her. It was trying time and she became a shadow of herself. She thought all hope was lost till the doctor suggested that she may benefit from a corneal transplant.

She was skeptical at first. “Who in their right mind would want to donate one of their eyes to someone else?” she wondered.

“People who pledge to become corneal donors only do so after they have died,” the doctor reassured her. He also answered other questions she had about eye donation.

She had the corneal transplant a month ago and it went well. Her vision and appearance improved. No more funny stares. She was beginning to get her confidence and her life back. She had no idea who her donor was, but she would forever be grateful for this precious gift – the gift of sight.

  • Use contact lenses responsibly
  • Vision loss from corneal blindness may be restored with corneal transplant
  • What would you give for love?

#In the spirit of the season of love

By Dr Ify Monye (16.02.2020)

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