Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

My Affinity for Saint Lucy and My Battle with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy

Saint Lucy and Virginia Lieto Saint Lucy was born in 283 A.D. in Syracuse, Italy, what we refer to today as Sicily. Little is known about this Saint, except that she died young (age 21 in 304 A.D.) because of the Emperor Diocletian’s persecution. The one thing I can tell you about Saint Lucy is that she is the patron saint of the blind and those with eye disorders.

My Affinity for Saint Lucy

I have a special place in my heart for Saint Lucy, as she got me through a very difficult time in my life. In 2000, I was diagnosed with Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy. This eye disease is supposedly hereditary, yet I knew of no one in my family who suffered from what I suffered. Every eye has thousands of water pumps in them that regulate the amount of water retained within the eye. When those water pumps break down, water is retained within the eye, and you have Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy. The symptoms come on gradually. You begin to see through a “mist” during early mornings, with the eye somewhat drying out as the day wears on. Yet, there comes a point where the “mist” remains throughout the day, impairing your ability to see well. Cataracts form and the eyesight worsens. Eventually you need to have the cataracts removed and you need partial corneal transplants.

Saint Lucy to My Aid

In 2008, I received two operations to remove the cataracts and obtain the transplants; an operation done in each eye – one in January; the other in April that year. All I know about the donors was that one cornea came from a two-year-old girl who had died; the other from a 43-year-old man. I continue to pray for them both, and I continue to pray for increased organ donations.

It was Saint Lucy who helped me through this time in my life. She interceded on my behalf to get me the help I needed. Because of the operations, my eyesight greatly improved. Saint Lucy, I thank you for your support. I wish you a Happy Feast Day!

This post also appears on Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, and Top Catholic Blogs

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