Vince Cortez had 20/20 vision. But when he was 18, his eyesight deteriorated and, by 22, he was having trouble reading road signs and couldn’t see the ball while golfing or playing softball. His ophthalmologist informed him that – because he couldn’t order contact lenses with the necessary grade level and curvature – a cornea transplant was the best solution. Vince received a double cornea transplant in 2010 and 2011.
“They called me ‘Squints’ in college because I had to squint in order to see anything. It was amazing and life-changing to get my vision back—it felt as if I had super powers! I could see the hair follicles in my arms, read street signs, and read things on TV from across the room,” he said.
His gift of sight allowed him to pursue a career as a barber, opening two barbershops within one year and now working on a third, which wouldn’t have been possible without his corneal transplants. He is most proud of being able to coach his son’s baseball teams.
“I registered as an organ and tissue donor so that maybe one day I can give someone the life-changing opportunity I was given,” he added.