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The 33-year-old had a cornea transplant in her right eye in January after a three-year wait.
Claire said: “Christmas is going to be so amazing. I won’t have to sit right next to my children and be right on top of them to see.
“I am so grateful to my donor. People feel funny about donating their eyes but it is the gift of sight and makes such a difference.”
Claire was born with Avellino corneal dystrophy, a genetic condition which means her sight gets progressively worse.
As her vision clouded she became increasingly isolated. She struggled to recognise people, read their expressions or navigate unfamiliar spaces.
When visiting the park with her daughters – nine-year-old Arabella and Feyra, six – she could not sit and watch them play like other mums.
In 2019, doctors said Claire needed a cornea transplant. It was scheduled for last December but her hopes were dashed when the operation was cancelled.
She said: “Going Christmas shopping last year just broke me. I was in tears at one point.
“It doesn’t matter how accommodating shops try to be for visually impaired people, it’s just not enough. Trying to see the price of things, to find things – it was a nightmare.
“Even online shopping I’d have to take photos and zoom in to see the details. It was not enjoyable at all.”
Claire finally had her transplant in January at Kidderminster Hospital, where doctors removed her damaged cornea and replaced it with healthy donor tissue.
Afterwards she felt emotional and vulnerable but as the swelling resided, Claire realised she could see individual lights rather than a blur.
She said: “By the next morning I could open my eyes slightly and see the back fence of my garden, which I had never been able to see. I cried.
“My husband said: ‘Are you going to cry at everything new you see?’ I said: ‘Yes I am!’
“Even my children looked different. That was insane.”
Claire is looking forward to a big family Christmas with her daughters and husband Warren. Instead of visiting the same Santa’s Grotto they go to every year, they plan to check out a new attraction near their home in Worcester.
Life had been like “constantly living in a really thick fog” before the transplant, Claire said. The vision in her left eye is also poor and she may need another in future.
Two million people in the UK are living with significant sight loss and every day 100 people start to lose their vision.
But there is a shortage of corneas for transplant. One in ten people who join the NHS Organ Donation Register choose not to donate their corneas.
There were 218 corneas in NHS Blood and Transplant’s eye bank as of early December, well below the target of 350.
Claire urged more people to register. She said: “I think eyesight is so precious that people don’t want to part with it even in death.
“There needs to be more awareness of how important it is. I don’t think people realise that it’s not just elderly people who have problems with their eyes.”
For more information, click here or call 0300 123 23 23.
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