Here you will find recent news stories about Miracles In Sight as well as relevant, up-to-date information about the eye banking industry.

Wendy and Tim’s Story, Part 1

Wendy Bolling began struggling with her vision early in life. When her sight took a turn for the worse in 2021, she had corneal transplants that gave her back her independence and led to the start of an amazing relationship with the family of the donor, Timothy Page, jr., who made her gift of sight possible.

Wendy remembers wearing glasses when she was in third grade, and later having to wear hard contact lenses due to her severe astigmatism. When she was 19 years old, she had Radial Keratotomy (RK)* surgery, which successfully improved her vision. However, 20 years later her vision dramatically changed, becoming as bad as it had been before her RK surgery.

“My vision did a 180,” Wendy explains. “My corneas were so distorted there was not a good prescription that would allow me to see clearly. Everything, even with glasses, always looked distorted or fuzzy.” In 2020, she tried new scleral lenses which helped but were uncomfortable and hard to maintain.

Then in July 2021, a bacterial infection began to rob Wendy of what vision she had left. By August, she was essentially blind and in constant pain. The infection had made daily life extremely difficult. Not only could she not drive or work, she suffered severe migraines that forced her to be in a dark, quiet room. Her mother moved in with her to help. “If was hard to have to depend so much on others,” she adds.

Thanks to her doctors at Duke University Eye Center, medication slowly cleared up the infection. But it became apparent that Wendy would require corneal transplants in both eyes to regain her sight.

“When the doctor told me I would need corneal transplants, my heart sank,” she says. “I thought ‘oh, my gosh, what if they don’t take, what if it doesn’t work and I am never going to see again?’ I was so nervous, but I knew I had the best doctor. And he would make sure it all went well.”

The transplant on her left eye was done in late October and four days later, Wendy was already seeing more clearly than ever. “It was remarkable! To be blind and receive the gift of sight again… I was so grateful that it is hard to even put into words!”

The transplant on her right eye was done in early January with the same positive results. By March, Wendy was able to drive, work a full day and live her life again. “I felt as though I was given another chance,” she says.

Like many transplant recipients, Wendy was inspired by the gift she received to reach out in gratitude to the families whose loved ones had made her miracle possible through eye donation. With the donor family’s permission, Wendy was able to get in touch with Tim’s mother, Sararecia Long, as well as his sister, Teioyannah Page.

Wendy and Tim’s family, including his mother, his sister and his daughters, met for a beautiful afternoon this past October. And when they met, “it was like we had known them for years,” says Wendy. “They are wonderful people. I can never thank them enough.”

For Tim’s mother, the opportunity to connect with Wendy and to know that her son had made a difference in someone’s life was more than a blessing. “To say that it was a blessing would be an understatement,” says Sararecia. “I love my son. He was a loving person — loved his family, loved his daughters, loved the Lord. And he was well liked… to meet him was to know him.”

Wendy and Sararecia both agreed that they should get together every year. However, they both doubted that they would be able to wait that long to see each other again.

Read more about Tim in the upcoming Wendy and Tim’s Story, Part 2.

*Radial Keratotomy (RK) is a surgical procedure designed to re-shape the cornea to improve the patient’s vision.