A NORTH-East woman who was blinded after drinking vodka laced with methanol will be able to read again thanks to a revolutionary artificial vision device.

Hannah Powell, from Ormesby, Middlesbrough, was blinded after drinking the fake alcohol while on holiday in Zante last August.

After hearing about the plight of the 21-year-old, Alnwick optician Kevin Thompson, has donated a £2,000 OrCam device to her to allow her to read text.

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She said: “The fact that a complete stranger wants to help me is overwhelming, it’s so kind of him. The news is all about the terrible events in Manchester and London and people being killed or horribly injured.

“So for someone to take the trouble to think of me and spend so much money on me is beyond belief. There are some horrible people in this world, but equally there are some really lovely ones that restore your faith in human nature.”

The tiny machine clips on the side of glasses and when the wearer points at text, a laser picks it out and a minute camera picks out the words.

A mini-speaker in an earpiece then transmits the words using bone conduction so no-one else can hear.

Miss Powell’s device has also been upgraded by distributors Sight and Sound Limited so it will even be able to recognise faces and tell her is standing in front of her.

Mr Thompson, 55, who owns Thompsons Opticians, said: “I’ve spent my entire working life trying to make people see better and when I read about Hannah I thought this is the most extreme case of sight loss I’d heard about.

“I was immensely moved by the terrible ordeal she went through in Greece and the devastating consequences of losing her sight.”

He added: “In Hannah’s case her loss of vision was so sudden and as far as I know there’s no cure, but I was aware of this OrCam device and although I’ve never met Hannah my heart went out to her and I’m in the fortunate position of being able to help.”

Miss Powell, a GP’s receptionist, also has to undergo regular dialysis and will need a kidney transplant later this year because of the damage done to her kidneys.

Her mother Christine is due to donate one of her kidneys to her later this year.