A rare artificial corneal transplant -- only the third done in Oregon -- may help a single mom from Tanzania fuffill a dream and gain a business degree from the University of Oregon.
Severe allergies led to scarring of Bao Green's corneas. Her eyesight became so bad she could hardly see her son five-year-old son Jonah.
"Sometimes he wakes up at night, and I am crying," Green said, "and he says please don't cry . . . why are you crying?"
She lost her job and her insurance along with her vision.
"I have nothing," she said. "I am struggling to put food on the table."
Dr. Neda Shamie of the Legacy Health System's Devers Eye Institute helped Green with the finding the money to pay for the surgery, an effort stretching out over two years.
Dr. Shamie also arranged to take care of Jonah while mom recovered. She has performed the only other two such transplants in Oregon.
Shamie performed the surgery first on Green's right eye. The following day, she carefully removed bandages as light started to pour into Green's eye. Jonah entered the room and saw his mother crying tears of joy."
She's excited because she can see you sweetheart," Dr. Shamie told him.
"Oh my God, there are no words," Green said. "I don't know what to say. Dr. Shamie, I love you."