Thursday, December 18, 2014


Last week I had my second cornea transplant in 17 years – a matching operation now for each eye.
The donor tissue was from a 10 year-old child.  I am 49.

With age and retrospect, I was able to step back this time around and equate the experience with Latham and identify with our individuals with “complex special needs”:

-For our residents with Prader-Willi Syndrome, their condition cannot be reversed while my sight can be improved over time if all goes well.
-Their condition is genetic, mine is not.

-Time does not “heal all wounds” for some of our individuals. Time can heal mine.
-Our families often have to fight for their children to be placed at Latham. I merely had to wait five months to see my world-renowned physician and pursue an operation covered by insurance.
-Our kids get up every day and face the day, sometimes when they don’t feel their best. I get sick time and medication to ease the pain.

And what do we have in common?
-Our residents and I are surrounded by qualified professionals who are skilled, caring and compassionate.
-We all are allowed to heal at our own pace, and are expected to have good days and bad days while being supported unconditionally along the journey.
-We worry. We laugh. We celebrate the good, and we learn from the bad.
-We are alive and facing life’s challenges one day at a time.
-We have hope for a brighter future.

And in the process, we develop a Changed View and a Fuller more Empathetic Life.

Happy Holidays to All During this Season of Gratitude,
Gerry Desautels
Latham Centers VP of Development & Community Outreach

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