Inventor recognised as New Zealander of the Year!

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm

My wish has come true – an inventor has been named the New Zealander of the Year over a sportsperson and businessman! Congratulations to Ray Avery!

I see that Ray’s life path from an early age is one of inspiration for others. His early years have been reported thus:
He was abandoned as a baby: “I got put into the orphanage for the first 14 years, moved around southern England in a kind of Dickensian labyrinth of bad stuff. “And then I decided to take my life in my own hands and ran away and lived on the streets of London for about a year before I was picked up in a police raid and invited to go back into the education system.” That “invitation” was the making of him. He was taken under the wing of a group of Oxbridge professors who taught him science and how to dress, eat, speak, play bridge and tennis and dance. “They gave this kind of hobo kid off the streets a social education and how to communicate.” By the age of 26 he owned a string of laboratories drove a vintage MGA car – and loathed himself. “I hated myself, I thought I was a real prick. I thought if I had money and I had a position that all of the orphanage debris would wash away and I would be accepted and … that would make me happy.” So he left England and in 1972 ended up in New Zealand, which seemed like “instant home”.
The scientist and inventor now dedicates himself to fighting poverty and ill health in the Third World. The intraocular eye lenses he developed will result in 30 million people will regain their sight by 2020. He had teamed up with ophthalmologist Fred Hollows, who became known for his work in restoring eyesight for thousands of people.

Avery’s first intraocular eye lens sold for $5, compared with $360 charged elsewhere. He collapsed the price globally, revolutionising Third World eye care. There are now 16 million people using his lens implants.

From such humble beginnings to New Zealander of the Year!


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