Lions Eye Donation Service

Meet Dr Prema Finn

We sat down with Dr Prema Finn, senior transplant coordinator with the Lions Eye Donation Service to ask a few quick questions.

Dr Prema Finn is a senior transplant coordinator with the Lions Eye Donation Service. Her role involves supplying human eye tissue for emergency and elective eye surgery across Victoria and Tasmania.

Prema, you’ve been with the eye bank for 20 years. What motivates you to keep coming to work every day?

I love being a part of a small team of smart, empathetic and caring healthcare professionals who are passionate about tissue donation and the role that we play in the management and prevention of corneal blindness.

How would you describe a typical day in your role?

A typical day may include talking to families about their option to donate eye tissue from their recently deceased loved ones, surgically removing the donated eyes, evaluating the donated tissue for fitness for transplant and preparing the corneas for certain types of corneal surgery, along with tons of paperwork!

What’s your most memorable experience?

Being in this role for 20 years, there are many memorable moments. Two, in particular, stand out.

Seeing my very first corneal transplant in 2001 was just amazing. It made me realise just how incredibly skilled our team of surgeons at Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital are.

The second goosebump-producing experience was hearing the hauntingly beautiful prayer chants of a Hindu family after retrieving their recently deceased son’s corneas.

The prayers were to aid his ‘journey’ into the next life.

What’s one thing you think everyone should know about corneal donation?

That this tiny, inconsequential-looking piece of transparent tissue can make a significant change to someone’s life.