Richard Townley Paton, M.D. was a man with a mission. A mission to retrieve and safely keep cornea tissue at the ready for doctors to use of their patients in need of the Gift of Sight.
In 1944, Dr. Paton had founded the Eye Bank for Sight Restoration in Manhattan, New York, along with his partner, Dr. John McLean of New York Hospital. A place that would help with harvesting, testing, readying, and transporting viable corneas to doctors and the patients in need of help in regaining their sight through corneal transplantation.
Dr. Paton also did some of the earlier works of helping to perfect the surgical procedure, before Founding the wonderful and now American-wide acclaimed, eye bank.
Some of his corneal donations came from those within the prison settings of convicts whom had consented to the donation of their eyes after their death by execution in Ossining, NY.
The Eye Bank, which is on East 64th Street, was the first organ/tissue banking system to accept eye donations. And it was a joint-effort institution between a total of twenty-one New York hospitals.
From that point on, more eye-collective banks were beginning to open throughout the country. Slowly but surely, more banks opened, and more people had their sight saved, and their lives more enriched due to the thanks and ingenuity of two men who forged a path to a positive means to restore sight to those that otherwise had little to zero chance of ever seeing again.
Medical advances of today in the world and works of sight restoration have made them to be THE most successful transplant of all transplants done in the United States and around the world.
At the age of eighty-two, on February 27th, 1984, Dr. Paton sadly passed away. But not before completing his mission of giving the Gift of Sight to as many people as he could. Thanks to him, myself and MILLIONS of people around the world are seeing things that most of us take for granted.
(initially posted to YouTube on April 27, 2011)