Artist overjoyed after sight restored by optometrist

A NIDDERDALE artist is able to continue with her passion for painting after having her sight restored, thanks to a Harrogate optometrist.

Muriel Illingworth, of Clint, was left without sight in her left eye last April after she tripped on the way to her car and fell onto her keys.

The accident caused major damage and Muriel lost the lens, iris and pupil.

After surgeons were able to save her eye - but not sight - Muriel was left distraught. Without the iris to perform its usual controlling function, she had searing light constantly entering her eye - a similar effect to staring at a bright car headlight.

Muriel was recommended to Christopher Nixon Optometrists in Harrogate, who in turn referred her on to Bruce Noble at the Yorkshire Eye Hospital. He fitted an artificial iris that controlled the light and referred Muriel back to Chris for specialist contact lens fitting to focus her eye once again.

Using state-of-the-art equipment at his Starbeck practice, Christopher was able to produce a tailor made contact lens enabling Muriel to see again.

To thank Christopher for help in restoring her sight Muriel presented him with a special painting of Swaledale, which now hangs on the office wall.

Christopher said: "I was only too happy to help restore Muriel’s sight, it was one of this year’s highlights for both myself and Bruce - a real team effort that produced fantastic results. The smile on her face was thanks enough but I was very touched by the picture she painted for me, which has pride of place on the wall of the clinic."

Muriel said: "The contact lens that Christopher made for me put my eye completely back into focus and I now have extremely good sight in my left eye, which has obviously made a huge difference.

"I have painted for many years and am a member of both the Harrogate and Nidderdale Art Club and the Pateley Bridge Art Club. Thanks to Christopher and Bruce‘s amazing work, I can now continue enjoying my hobby."