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Eye Donors from Ozarks Medical Center to be Honored at the 128th Rose Parade

Eye Donors from Ozarks Medical Center to be Honored at the 128th Rose Parade

In 2015, 13 heroes from Ozarks Medical Center gave the gift of sight to those at risk of going blind by donating their eye tissue for sight-saving corneal transplants. Regional nonprofit Saving Sight coordinated the eye donation process for those donors and is working with Ozarks Medical Center to honor their gifts on a national stage during the 128th Rose Parade which will be broadcast around the world from Pasadena, California on January 2, 2017.

Ozarks Medical Center President & CEO Thomas Keller met with officials from Saving Sight Monday to dedicate a rose in honor of the hospital’s eye donors that will be carried on the 14th annual Donate Life Rose Parade float in January. Keller signed a vial with a personal message from the hospital in memory of the hospital’s eye donors. In January, the vial will carry a white Akito rose on the Rose Parade float to honor the donors and help spread the simple, life-giving message that eye, organ and tissue donation heals and saves lives.

“It’s an incredible gift these donors make through eye donation. They forever change the lives of corneal transplant recipients,” said Saving Sight Chief Executive Officer Tony Bavuso. “We’re excited to work with Ozarks Medical Center to honor that gift by dedicating a rose that will be seen around the world as part of this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade and serve as a testament to the healing power of the gift of sight.”

Across its service region, Saving Sight recovered, processed and placed 3,016 corneas for transplant in 2015. Because of the compassion of donors and families and staff at partner hospitals like Ozarks Medical Center, Saving Sight changed the lives of an average of eight people every day through the gift of sight.

Over 48,000 corneal transplants took place across the country to restore sight for those in need last year and more than 15,000 Americans gave life through organ donation. Still, today more than 120,000 men, women children await life-saving organ transplants in the United States. You can make a difference by registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Join the millions of Americans who have chosen to give life by registering as a donor today at

About Saving Sight

Saving Sight is a regional 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to change lives by saving sight. Founded in Columbia, Mo. in 1960, the organization introduced eye donation and the gift of sight to Missouri. Today, Saving Sight operates a spectrum of vision health programs that serve nearly 100,000 people worldwide each year, with offices located in Missouri, Kansas, and central Illinois. For more information, please visit

Pictured left to right: Tom Keller, OMC President and CEO and Kurt Abbey, OMC Chief Nursing Officer are shown with the design of the Rose Bowl Float, which will contain a rose honoring Ozarks Medical Center donors.

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