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Two North Texas Families Are Bound by the Gift of Sight

4-year old Zoe Rabago has the gift of sight thanks to a North Texas family's generous donation

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Zoe Rabago is an active 4-year old who loves to read and play t-ball, two things she might have difficultly doing were it not for the generous donation of sight.

"She could see things us close, but they were very blurry," Zoe's mother Nia Rabago said. "As she grew, her chances of being able to see clearly would become less and less."

That's because Zoe was born with a condition called Peters Anomaly. Her cornea wasn't fully formed. She needed a cornea transplant.

"I know Zoe wouldn't be where she is today if she wasn't given that gift from Aolani's family," Rabago said.

10-year old Aolani Gonzalez died in a car crash four years ago. Her family made the decision to donate her heart valves and corneas. One of them went to Zoe when she was just a month and a half old.

"The moment she saw her it was like she knew it was the best thing she could have done," Aolani's brother, Donnovan Lopez said, translating for their mother, Rosalba Gonzalez. "To help someone else."

The transplant was coordinated through UT Southwestern Transplant Services Center, which also facilitated the families meeting.

"Rosalba called the office saying, 'you know, if there's ever a chance for me to meet the recipient, that would really mean a lot to me,'" UT Southwestern nurse supervisor Drew Timmons said. "That very same day, Nia posted on our Facebook page."

"She was kind of, like the feeling that she was going to be able to see her daughter again," Lopez said translating for his mother as she described meeting Zoe.

"I just wanted them to know my heart goes out to them," Rabago said.

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