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Comedian tells how she fought back after losing sight to glaucoma in her 20s

Georgie Morrell is performing her show Eyecon at the Battersea Arts Centre on July 18

27 June, 2019 — By Tom Foot

GEORGIE Morrell was “living the dream” as a young woman enjoying the nightlife in Camden Town around the time that she went completely blind.

She had lost vision in one eye aged just four years old, when arthritis triggered glaucoma that caused her to lose total vision in her left eye.

And it was just after finishing university that her right eye went, too.

Ms Morrell, now a 32-year-old stand-up comedian living in Camden Town, said: “It had been a realistic nightmare for me, something that was a possibility. It happened when life was awesome – I was 21 and living the dream in Camden Town, being an independent young woman. I had to move home.”

She added: “At the time I didn’t really know why it had happened.”

Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve is damaged by the pressure of fluid inside the eye. Most types of glaucoma have no symptoms, so a regular eye test is the only way to know the condition is there.

Vision in Ms Morrell’s right eye was restored by experts at Moorfields Eye Hospital but she said the this did not happen “like in the movies”.

She added: “It happened in stages and I had to readapt to seeing, and get my head around that. I had been put on a lot of drugs and I was slowly coming off that – it was hard to get excited.”

After she got her sight back, Ms Morrell went to drama school and later “very arrogantly” began writing a comedy show called Poke in the Eye. Her latest show, Eyecon, is about being blind and how disabilities are covered in the media. It is at the Battersea Arts Centre on July 18.

For more information on the International Glaucoma Association visit http://www.glaucoma-association.com/

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