Man Recuperating After Rare Living-Donor Eye Surgery

An Idaho man was recuperating at a Seattle hospital Wednesday after donating one of his eyes to science.

Terry Stidman became part of a small and selfless club of living donors Tuesday when he underwent surgery to remove his right eye, which was threatened by the adenoidal cystic cancer that had already spread to his cheekbone, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reports.

Stidman is recuperating in the intensive care unit of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle, has learned.

Stidman, of Spirit Lake, Idaho, decided to donate the eye to the John A. Moran Center in Salt Lake City, where it will be used for macular degeneration research, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Click here to read the Spokesman-Review story.

“If they couldn’t use it for research, I wasn’t going to go through with the surgery,” Stidman, an active Lions Club member, told the newspaper. “I’m not going to give my eye up for the garbage.”

Stidman calls every day "a freebie" since doctors gave him a terminal cancer diagnosis four years ago, the paper reported.

The surgery is a rarity, according to experts.

“I have only heard of this a few times in eight years,” Rusty Kelly, vice president of the Eye Bank Association of America, told the Spokesman-Review.

Click here to see video of Stidman before the surgery.

Though only a skin flap will cover where his eye once sat, Stidman remains certain he made the right choice.

“There’s nothing better than going to bed and knowing you’ve helped people,” he said.'s Sara Bonisteel contributed to this report.