It is with extreme sadness we inform you of the death of our colleague, Professor Gail Stephenson, after the discovery of a brain tumour earlier this year. She passed away on the 19th July.
Gail was the Head of the Directorate of Orthoptics & Vision Science at the University of Liverpool and, over the years, had taught and inspired the next generation of orthoptists now working mainly in the NHS. She was delighted to have been named a professor in December 2013 by the University, particularly as it further raised the profile of orthoptics on both national and international stages.
As many of you will know, Gail was an active member of the professional body for Orthoptists, The British & Irish Orthoptic Society, for many years and latterly had been its representative on both the international and European organisations for orthoptics. The latter, OCE, she was President of from April 2013. Protecting the term and the unique profession “orthoptist” was one of her personal causes and the profession owes much to her for her perseverance and tenacity in this respect. This she did in a volunteer capacity and she was elected a Fellow of the British & Irish Orthoptic Society to acknowledge this and other services to the profession.
Keen to combine her love of football and orthoptic expertise, she assisted her favourite team, Manchester United for many years and acted as an orthoptic adviser and vision scientist to the club during the 1990s. As a mark of respect to Gail, United's first team wore black armbands in a match, a pre-season game, against San Jose Earthquakes in California on 21st July.
Chair of the British & Irish Orthoptic Society, Rowena McNamara said: "I was lucky enough to have worked with Gail when we were teachers together at the Manchester Eye Hospital. Her enthusiasm and dedication to Orthoptics was memorable and we will all miss her enormously. I will ensure that the BIOS marks her achievements formally but for me personally, she will always be remembered for her joy for her work and for life.”
Gail was born on the 28th July 1953, had one daughter, Rebecca, who died last November.
Please find link to the University of Liverpool's obituary for Professor Gail Stephenson.http://news.liv.ac.uk/2015/07/21/obituary-professor-gail-stephenson/
On the site there is the opportunity to make a personal tribute.
Colleague at the University, Dr David Newsham, added today: "I have known Gail as my teacher since I began training at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Since then she has become a lifelong mentor, friend and colleague. Her enthusiasm, dedication and passion for orthoptics at Liverpool, nationally and internationally will not be surpassed. She will be terribly missed on a personal level and by the profession."Funeral details:
- Monday 3rd August,10.00am St Marks Church Worsley, M28 2WH
- 11.40am Agecroft Crematorium, Langley Road, Salford M27 8SS
- Tea, Coffee and drinks after
To be confirmed - we are presuming the church service is open to all, but there may be some limits on attendance at the crematorium and refreshment location. No decision or guidance has yet been given on flowers or donations instead of.