Thanks to medical science and deep human love, the cornea of a dying 29-year-old Marine veteran, a former St. Petersburg resident, was transplanted and restored sight to a blind man Christmas morning.
Few stories surpass that written to The Times by the late youth’s mother, Mrs. W. A. Bourget, Route Five, Hendersonville, N.C., former residents here at 3663 Dartmouth Avenue North.
Her son, Robert E. Bourget, survivor of [Edson’s] First Raider Battalion, returned from the Pacific and nine years’ Marine duty, suffering the dread Hodgkin’s disease of acute anemia whereby white corpuscles multiply abnormally and cause slow death.
Bourget underwent every form of medical treatment at Perry Point, Md., Veterans Hospital in his fight to live, but was given no chance of recovery. Knowing this, he made a final request Dec. 20  that science use his eyes to restore sight to the blind. He died that day and the cornea of one eye was successfully transplanted to return sight to a blind man Christmas morning.
Bourget is survived by his widow and a three-year-old daughter of Bristol, Vt., his parents of Hendersonville, N.C. and two sisters, Mary Margaret and Mrs. J. A. Pace of that state.
Funeral services with full military honors were held at Arlington National Cemetery.