Recipients of AJ's corneas grateful

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2011 12:52 AM | Updated as of Apr 21 2011 08:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Jay Ilagan, Miko Sotto, Cesar Montano’s son Angelo and Toni Rose Gaida’s son Edward James are among the famous personalities who passed away and donated their eye corneas to the Eye Bank.

Just recently, the family of young actor AJ Perez decided to do the same.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, the president of Sta. Lucia Eye Bank said she admires the decision of the Perez family to give AJ’s corneas.

“Humahanga ako sa mgatao na imagine nagdadalamhati ka, naghihinagpis ka, namatay ang anak mo pero naisip mo pa na mag-donate,” Dr. Menguita Padilla said.

Padilla explained that the recipients of the actor’s corneas come in a “first-come first-serve” basis.

Fortunately, 28-year-old Lawrence Villanueva gets to receive one of them.

Villanueva said it has been 3 years since his vision started getting worse.

He said that he is still in awe that the cornea that will be transplanted to him belonged to AJ.

He is scheduled to undergo a corneal transplant on Thursday.

“God really works in different ways talaga,” Villanueva said.

“Kahit na anong donor pa iyan, kidney or heart, it’s their legacy eh. It’s part of them also,” he added.

The other recipient of AJ’s cornea is an 8-year-old boy.

The parents of AJ are set to meet the receivers of their son’s corneas after their operations.

According to them, AJ may not be physically present anymore but a part of his life has continued to help and change lives of other people. – Report from Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News