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Florestela Delgado of the San Antonio Eye Bank, second from left, presents an award to Knapp Medical Center for helping in efforts to heal the blind through a cornea donation program. Accepting the award are Tony Ashley, RN, Knapp Medical Intensive Care Unit Director; Anna Hinojosa, Chief Nursing Officer for Knapp Medical Center; and Knapp CEO Rene Lopez

The generous donation of corneas by deceased organ donors can help another person to see again — and Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco is being nationally recognized for helping to give the others the gift of sight and gift of life through organ, cornea and tissue donation.

The San Antonio Eye Bank recently presented an award to Knapp Medical Center for participating in the national “Hospital CEO Rose Dedication” program. A handwritten message on a rose vial on behalf of Knapp CEO Rene Lopez and Knapp Medical Intensive Care Unit Director Tony Ashley will travel to Pasadena, California — and be featured on a “Donate Life” float in the Tournament of Roses Parade®. The prestigious parade will be broadcast on national television on January 2, prior to the annual “Rose Bowl” college football game.

“Thanks in part to the support of the Knapp Medical Center staff, in 2015 there were five cornea donors from your hospital, which allowed for the possibility of 10 patients to receive restored sight through cornea transplantation,” said Florestela Delgado, Hospital and Community Relations Specialist for the San Antonio Eye Bank.

“The San Antonio Eye Bank recognizes Knapp Medical Center for its efforts towards healing the blind and honoring the option of donation for patients and families after end-of-life care,” Ms. Delgado added. “The act of donation — and realization that a donor’s legacy will live on through transplantation — can provide hope and healing for grieving families.”

Nationwide, Ms. Delgado said that more than 40,000 men, women and children have their sight restored through cornea transplantation each year — and hundreds of thousands are helped through important research to find cures for other diseases which cause blindness.

“This program is a collaborative effort with donation organizations and hospitals to honor deceased patients and families, who with the cooperation of hospital staff, have saved and healed lives after death through the gift of organ, cornea and tissue donation,” she added.

During the award presentation at Knapp Medical Center, nursing directors and other hospital staff held red roses in tribute to cornea donors, whose gift makes such a difference in the life of those whose sight is restored.

Knapp Medical Center ( is a 227-bed not-for-profit acute care hospital long known for its service to the Mid-Valley community.

The San Antonio Eye Bank is a community-based, not-for-profit eye and corneal tissue recovery network that has for more than 50 years helped restore sight to individuals throughout South Texas. The eye bank encourages individuals to register their wish to become donors and give the gift of sight. To learn more about cornea donation and transplantation, please visit