New Year honor for eye treatment pioneer

NEW year brought a very ‘happy surprise’ to West Somerset-born Professor Helen Davis, who was awarded an OBE for ‘Orthoptic Services’.

“It was a complete shock – I didn’t expect anything like this,” Prof Davis told the Free Press upon hearing the news of his award.

Professor Davis, 63, who went to Minehead Lower School and then Upper School – as they were then called – was born in Alcombe, near Minehead.

After school she moved to Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital to get her degree in orthoptics and from there to the Royal Manchester Hospital to get a teaching degree and then became a student tutor.

A move to the University of Sheffield saw Professor Davis start and develop a degree program in orthoptics.

His career spans 45 years and his dedication to research, clinical trials and testing has provided life-changing treatments for adults and children around the world.

Detecting misalignments and diseases, treating and correcting debilitating eye conditions, Professor Davis’ dedication and definitive work has given people new life and prevented serious degenerative problems.

Four years ago she became chair of the British and Irish Orthoptic Society and Education and Professional Development Committee. His book, published in 2014, “The Diagnosis and Management of Eye Mobility Disorders” is a definitive authority on the subject.

Professor Davis and her proud father Alan, sister Jane and family, who are scattered across the country – from Fulwood to Sheffield to Jersey to Alcombe – look forward to celebrating together when she receives her honour.

A colleague said: ‘This is a much-deserved honor for the Davis family and everyone who knows and respects Helen for all she has done for so many people.

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