With the transplanted cornea she received from her 15-year-old son, Sally Colin gazed upon her surviving children Friday for the first time in a decade.
"It was unbelievable!" she said after doctors removed the bandages from her right eye. "My children, gosh they've grown. They're so big, you know."
Colin received a cornea from her son, Christopher, who died Monday after being hit by a car. The teen-ager's heart, liver, kidneys and lungs went to five other people around the country.
"My son didn't really die," said Colin, 51. "He just got to travel a lot in a lot of different people. He got to be reborn."
Colin, who has two other children, 13-year-old Nic and 9-year-old Astarte, had been legally blind since 1982 because of a degenerative cornea disease.
A family friend, Cathy Wiggins, said Colin had previously been told nothing could be done to correct the blindness. But officials at the hospital where Christopher died determined the disease could be helped by a transplant.
Dr. Robert Knox, who performed the operation Thursday at Sparks Regional Medical Center, said it will be six months before Colin can receive a second cornea transplant. Her son's other cornea went to a 32-year-old man.
Colin went to Christopher's school Friday for the first time to pick up his report card.
"And do you know, he made the honor roll," she said. "I said: 'Wow, this is the way to go.' We will put it by his remains and say it is just one more reason why we love him."