23 December 2012
Seldom do you see the grit and determination displayed by Lucy Mathen, ophthalmologist and former BBC presenter. Lucy set up Second Sight, a hands-on charity curing the blind in Indias forgotten areas.
This year, Lucy won the BMJ Karen Woo award. Her imaginative use of women’s football made Lucy Mathen and Second Sight a must for Liverpool Ladies to support.
At Christmas many of us struggle to think of presents to give. We might be forgiven for envying Lucy and her team who can give the gift of sight to others not just now but the whole year round.
In a recent interview on Radio 4 Lucy described visiting Afghanistan as a young journalist. A local medic told Lucy that they were forced to use out-of-date medication. Lucy resolved to change her career to make a difference. In her thirties Lucy retrained as a doctor specialising in ophthalmology and went on to set up the charity Second Sight. The charity has focussed on two states in Northern India with the highest density of curable blindness in the world.
Lucy has a passion for football. Whilst in Northern India she played football with a team of young Muslim girls. Lucy noticed that no women were employed in the eye hospitals. On enquiring she found out that girls were married early to older men because their families were poor and unable to afford their secondary education. With local support Lucy has sponsored the further education and support of these football players. Given the opportunity of a contract many of these girls now complete their education and are employed contributing to curing blindness in their region.
Liverpool Ladies sent Lucy the kit from last season to help support the project. Some of the team are shown in the photo.
For more details on the inspirational work of Second Sight see the website and listen to the BBC interview with Lucy Mathen. A movie about Second Sight has recently been made and is showing at the Keswick Film Festival at the end of February.