Coronation Street star Lisa George reveals she could go blind from rare condition, and fears she could never act again

18 May 2024, 13:23 | Updated: 18 May 2024, 13:30

Lisa George has suffered a serious eye problem
Lisa George has suffered a serious eye problem. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Coronation Street star Lisa George has revealed that she could go blind because of a genetic eye condition.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

George, who has played Beth Sutherland on the soap opera for over a decade, said she had been diagnosed with non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropath (NAION) - a condition that can cause sudden sight loss.

In 2016, the 51-year-old suffered an injury to one of her eyes when the knot at the end of a rope hit her eye while she was out gardening.

Coronation Street bosses have made changes to allow for her condition, including printing scripts in bigger fonts, changing around scenes for her, and arranging transport during a six-month period when she wasn't able to drive.

George told Mail Online: "I always think there are people far worse off than you, and I'm just grateful I can still see but we don't know what could happen in the future."

Read more: Coronation Street star Tina O'Brien 'caught in the middle of brawl with teenage girls outside her home'

Read more: Coronation Street legend 'faces bankruptcy' after being hit with 'mystery tax bill' aged 91

Lisa George
Lisa George. Picture: Alamy

After the rope incident, she lost sight in her right eye and scraped the side of her car. She was told later that she had permanently lost the sight at the bottom of her eye.

She went to doctors over and over again to try to find out what was wrong with the eye.

"Luckily my left eye was really good with 20/20 vision and the only thing I struggled with after that first incident was being able to read," she said.

"Corrie were great, they printed my scripts in a bigger font to make it easier but I just wasn't getting any explanation as to what had happened.

"I had scans, dye put into my eyeball, but the doctors were split as to whether it was the trauma from the rope or something else that had caused the haemorrhage at the back of my eye."

Lisa George
Lisa George. Picture: Alamy

In 2022, she suffered a frightening incident while driving home from a co-star's birthday party, when she lost the sight in her left eye.

George said: "I was driving home on the M6 when my left eye went really weird. I couldn't tell whether the lorries in front of me were merging into one, it was very frightening. I managed to get myself home and took myself back at A&E the following morning.'I ended up staying in there for a week which was horrendous.

"It was one of the worst experiences of my life. 'I had a CT scan on my head, two lumber punctures, and they wouldn't let me take my medication for my Diabetes which was making feel really poorly. 

"No-one seemed to have a clue what had happened, they just said 'you've got nerve clusters' and after a week they sent me home and told me to take Aspirin for the pain."

Lisa George
Lisa George. Picture: Alamy

After seeing doctors both in the NHS and privately for years, George was finally diagnosed with NAION in November last year.

She added: "My doctor was dead straight with me. She said that I would never get my full sight back. The damage was done and I had to live with it.

"When it first happened I was so petrified but I can't worry about what could or couldn't happen, it's no way to live. I've just got to get on with it.

"I've accepted what has happened. I've got my glasses and have my varifocal glasses for driving now too."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Met Office has issued multiple "very high" warnings for pollen count

'Pollen bomb' to explode over UK - here's how to survive it

Dua Lipa suffered a security scare while rehearsing for her Glastonbury appearance

TikToker breaks into Dua Lipa rehearsals for Glastonbury and makes 'total prat' of themselves in security scare

Crazy Town frontman Shifty Shellshock has died at the age of 49

Crazy Town singer Shifty Shellshock - who was behind huge 2000s hit Butterfly dies at 49

Jay Slater (main) and Tenerife police hin ting for the missing Brit

Jay Slater detectives find different missing Briton while searching Tenerife gorge

Tommy Robinson has been arrested

Tommy Robinson arrested in Canada for immigration offences and stripped of passport

Home Secretary James Cleverly (left) and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper take part in a live immigration debate on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast at Global Studios in Leicester Square, London. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2024.

James Cleverly debates Yvette Cooper on immigration | Watch Again

Home Secretary James Cleverly (left) and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper take part in a live immigration debate on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

Yvette Cooper says Labour will 'work with other countries' on migrant returns despite pledging to axe Rwanda scheme

The Tories have withdrawn support for two candidates being investigated over betting allegations.

Tories withdraw support for candidates caught up in election betting scandal

Yvette Cooper has dismissed claims made by James Cleverley on LBC

Yvette Cooper dismisses claims migrants are sitting in France 'waiting for Labour government'

Yvette Cooper slammed Just Stop Oil as 'pathetic'

Yvette Cooper slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil as she brands Stonehenge stunt a 'total disgrace'

James Cleverly and Yvette Cooper clashed on immigration

Labour will open door to 100,000 more migrants, James Cleverly claims, as Yvette Cooper accuses him of lying

James Cleverly and Yvette Cooper on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

Labour won't get rid of 'incredibly expensive' Bibby Stockholm on day one, says Yvette Cooper

Hot weather has hit the UK

Exact date 35C 'pulses' from Europe to boost UK's sweltering heatwave, as temperatures soar

Lord Robertson said it is "total nonsense" that the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Nigel Farage is 'cuddling up to the Kremlin', says ex-Nato boss amid claims West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Sir Keir Starmer has told a headteacher that her private school should ‘work to ensure costs are kept affordable for parents’.

Private schools must ‘ensure costs are kept affordable for parents’, Starmer tells headteacher amid plans for tax raid

Jordan McSweeney and Damien Bendall both committed murders while on probation

One person a week killed by criminal on probation, as ex-Victims Commissioner slams failure to protect public's safety