MICHELLE Willis has been overwhelmed by the support she has received since the Echo highlighted her fight to drive.
The 47-year-old, who only has one eye after being born with a facial tumour, has an unblemished 30-year driving record, but has been ordered to surrender her licence after failing a peripheral vision test by a DVLA-appointed optician.
Michelle, of Hall Farm, was inundated with offers of support after the Echo reported her determination to appeal the decision.
“I’ve had lots of people approaching me, offering to sign a petition to get my licence back,” she said.
“I think it’s lovely, the support and backing I have had from total strangers.
“It’s wonderful to know Sunderland people are so supportive and caring, taking the time to speak to me and wish me well.
“It’s encouraging me to keep fighting for my right to drive, as over the past few days I’ve had moments when I just felt I haven’t the fight anymore and should just accept the decision.”
Michelle initially feared she would lose her job as a community nurse after having her licence revoked but has been assured her role is safe.
Her role involves travelling across Sunderland to attend to patients, leaving her to use public transport or walk the journey to their homes or offer treatment at a clinic.
“I have heard that some of my patients who I see regularly at home are upset as I won’t be able to visit them now due to my licence being revoked,” she said.
“We have been in touch with some disability organisations who are willing to help me, and I have an appointment with my GP to start the appeal process.”
The Echo first revealed Michelle’s fight to lead a normal life 30 years ago, and she has endured years of painful operations to her face.
She was referred to an optician by the DVLA after a visit to Sunderland Eye Infirmary and hopes to challenge the ruling with support from her consultant.
The DVLA has said Michelle has the right to appeal the decision.
It says all drivers are required by law to meet the appropriate eyesight standard and any driver unable to meet these standards cannot hold a driving licence.”