The Heartland Lions Eye Banks recently recognized Fayette County Hospital for its efforts to promote eye donations.
Because of the hospital staff's efforts, three eye donors provided tissue for three sight-saving corneal transplants during 2010.
Last year, more than 2,800 people suffering from an ocular disease, disorder or injury received a cornea transplant through Heartland Lions Eye Banks.
Those donations are being praised during March, which is National Eye Donor Month.
Wilma, a cornea transplant recipient from Central Illinois, said the impact of the transplant was significant in her life.
"Words can't tell you how much my donor and donor families mean to me," she said. "They gave me such a precious gift when they lost someone precious to them. I think of them every day when I wake up in the morning and open my eyes."
Individuals who wish to make a pledge to donate can join Illinois' first-person consent donor registry by visiting www.lifegoeson.com, or when they obtain or renew their driver's license.
For more information on eye donation, visit www.hleb.org or www.donatelife.net.
Heartland Lions Eye Banks' mission is to "preserve and restore the sight of people." It operates eight branches out of its headquarters in Columbia, Mo. It has restored sight to 33,000 cornea transplant recipients throughout the world.