Visually impaired woman drives for first time in 19 years

Karen Wade at the Macular Society Supercar Driving day.  Copyright Richard Cave 27.06.16

Karen Wade at the Macular Society Supercar Driving day. Copyright Richard Cave 27.06.16

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A visually impaired Kenilworth woman got the chance to get behind the wheel of a car for the first time in 19 years thanks to a sight charity.

Karen Wade, 46, was diagnosed with punctate choroidopathy, a type of macular degeneration, 25 years ago.

It resulted in the loss of her central vision and she was forced to hand over her driving licence 19 years ago.

However, a track day in north Oxfordshire held at the end of June organised by charity the Macular Society meant Karen was once again able to sit in the driver’s seat.

She did not just drive any old car - Karen was given a choice of supercars to drive including a Lamborghini and Ferrari, but decided on an Aston Martin in the end.

Karen was accompanied by an instructor with dual controls and was given the freedom of the track.

She said: “The driving experience was amazing. I haven’t driven in many years and the power of the Aston Martin was exhilarating.

“I am so pleased I got the opportunity to drive such an incredible car. I only wish I could drive it more often.”

The track day was organised to raise awareness of the condition and took place as part of Macular Week, which raises awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK.

The disease affects central vision and affects over 600,000 people. Advanced forms of the AMD prevent people from driving, reading and recognising faces.

AMD has become more prevalent in recent years due to the country’s ageing population.