Moretonhampstead mum-of-three Megan Turner rubbed shoulders with showbiz celebs in London when she watched the optician who saved her sight pick up a prestigious award.
The likes of Dame Joan Collins, Louis Walsh, South Devon reality star Georgia Toffolo and Rylan Clark-Neal and were in the audience at the Specsavers’ Spectacle Wearer of the Year awards as Exeter optometrist Emma Ginger received the Dame Mary Perkins Award.
The Dame Mary Perkins Award, named after the Specsavers’ co-founder, is given out annually to the optician or store that has made the greatest contribution to raising awareness about the importance of eye care.
Megan was at Emma’s side when she received the award from Gary Barlow. She was nominated for diagnosing Megan’s intracranial hypertension earlier this year.
Emma, who works at the Exeter Specsavers store, was praised for so thoroughly looking back through Megan’s records to see the difference in pressure around her brain, and then explaining the problem to Megan in a calm and measured way.
Before meeting Emma, Megan had been suffering with crippling headaches and blacking out, with GPs and headache specialists failing to diagnose her condition.
Megan says: ‘I’m so pleased for Emma. She really does deserve the award. When she diagnosed my condition, she referred me straightaway to hospital. The doctors there said if I’d been referred two weeks later, I might have lost my sight – and even my life.
‘It was great to see Emma receive the award, and we had an amazing night. It’s been an incredible few months since I met Emma, and now I’m looking forward to topping it off by marrying my finance Ben.’
The awards were hosted by Rylan Clark-Neal with support from awards ambassador Oti Mabuse, while raising funds for anti-bullying charity Kidscape.
Emma says: ‘We had such a fantastic time at the ceremony and it was a real honour to receive the Dame Mary Perkins Award.
‘Seeing positive outcomes such as Megan’s is so rewarding for me. Knowing I’ve made a difference to someone’s life is the best part of being an optometrist.
‘Megan’s story really does emphasise the importance of having a regular eye test, because the technology we have now can pick up much more than just the quality of a person’s sight.’
Other celebrities at the awards night were Gary Barlow, Martin Kemp, Tulisa and Sue Perkins.
Strictly star and RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage received the celebrity Spectacle Wearer of the Year award, and comedian Sue Perkins took home the prize for her Service to Specs style, while Celebs Go Dating star Tom Read Wilson won Best Newcomer.
The event raised £100,000 from award entries, sponsorship, ticket sales and luxury raffle, with all proceeds going to Kidscape, bringing the total raised by Specsavers for the charity in the last 11 years to more than £700,000.
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