In 2009, three months into pregnancy with identical twin boys, Callum and Thomas, Sarah and Ross Gray of Washington, D.C., learned the devastating news that Thomas suffered from anencephaly, a fatal genetic condition in which the brain and skull do not fully develop. Although Callum was fine, Thomas would not survive. The Grays made the selfless decision to donate Thomas’s organs and tissues to research.
The twins were born in March 2010, and baby Thomas died at home six days later. With the help of the Gray’s local organ procurement organization, Washington Regional Transplant Community, and a referral from Old Dominion Eye Foundation, NDRI placed Thomas’ corneas with James Zieske, Ph.D., of Harvard University’s Schepens Eye Research Institute, and his retinas with Arupa Ganguly, Ph.D., a medical geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Baby Thomas’ life was short, but thanks to his parent’s commitment to sharing hope with others through eye and organ donation for research, his legacy continues. This donation provided immeasurable meaning for both his family and those who will benefit from the resulting advances.