Gift of Sight donor - Richard Murphy

Gift of Sight donor - Richard Murphy
Every Life Has a Story

Richard Murphy

(August 20, 1964 - October 1, 2017)

Richard Murphy of Iowa lived most of his life with physical disabilities resulting from severe injuries sustained in a car accident that almost ended his life at only nine months of age. To this day, his loving mother credits the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for saving her infant son’s life.

Almost 53 years later, Richard was involved in another tragic accident and was again transferred to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Sadly, his injuries were too extensive and he died on October 1, 2017.

Despite his lifelong physical disabilities, Richard dealt with his challenges and became a talented woodworker and excellent mechanic. He worked as a truck driver for many years and loved to participate in arm wrestling matches. In life, he was an open hearted, selfless man to his friends and large family, including his five children. In death, his altruism was evident as a registered donor and his family supported his decision to become an organ, eye and tissue donor so that countless others might have another chance at life, sight, and mobility.   

Soon after his death, Richard’s mother received letters of gratitude from both of his cornea recipients; a 57-year-old female and a 78-year-old male, both residing in Iowa. Becky wrote, “The cornea transplant will allow me to continue to drive, work as a pharmacist, and assist my elderly mother so that she may remain in her own home.” And Harry stated, “I’m enjoying better sight because of an unselfish, generous decision made by an individual or family. I can offer only my humble ‘thank you’! Someone had to be a donor, so I could be a recipient.”