|Born||1953 (age 63–64)
Lucy Mathen (born 1953) is an Indian-born British ophthalmologist and former journalist. Having initially worked for the BBC, she retrained as a doctor and launched Second Sight – a non-profit organisation aimed at curing cataract blindness in India.
Mathen began her career as a print journalist, working for the Surrey Mirror in the mid-1970s. She became the British Broadcasting Corporation's first ever female British Asian to front a major national television programme in 1976 when she began working for John Craven's Newsround (the BBC's children's news series). She was the programme's first dedicated reporter – others, such as the anchorman John Craven, also appeared in other presenting roles for the BBC. She worked on Newsround from 1976 to 1980. During this period, Samira Ahmed, now a prominent British Asian broadcaster, found Mathen an inspiration.
During the making of a documentary on women in Afghanistan in 1988, a conversation with a local doctor made her reconsider her journalistic role: "I suddenly felt like a bit of a fraud. That's when I vowed that if I were ever in a war zone again, I would be a medic and not a reporter". At the age of 36, she retrained as an ophthalmologist at St. George's Hospital Medical School. After travelling to India in 1996, she saw the effects of cataracts in the poor rural north of the country and launched a non-profit organisation – Second Sight – in December 2000 to bring eye surgeons into the region. In 2010 and 2011, 80,000 people have benefited from cataract surgery supported by Second Sight. She has written a book about her experiences called A Runaway Goat: Curing Blindness in Forgotten India.
Mathen and her boyfriend, Mark, have one son and one daughter. She enjoys playing football and has incorporated the encouragement of women's football in India as part of a programme discouraging child marriage. She is also a keen runner and completed two London Marathons and a half-marathon, raising money for Second Sight in the process.
- Barnes, Simon (2003-04-18). Land where folly and courage run hand in hand. The Times. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
- Ahmed, Samira (2011-09-30) Newsround, racism and me. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-10-01
- 30 years of Newsround. CBBC. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
- Kallury, Kruttika (2010-10-07). Eye catcher. India Today. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
- Organisation. Second Sight. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
- Achievements. Second Sight. Retrieved on 2012-03-13. 30,000 people regained their sight in 2010; 50,000 in 2011
- Excess Baggage: Medics abroad and Bridges. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
- Carter, Sally (2011-04-01). Lucy Mathen: From journalism to ophthalmology. British Medical Journal. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
- Marathons. Second Sight.