EYE OP MEANS I CAN NOW SEE A BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD, NOELLE QUINN.
But since that happy first meeting with Frank, Noelle has undergone two laser operations on her eyes.
She now has perfect 20-20 vision.
The bubbly brunette, who works as an animated cartoon checker said: "My eyesight had been giving me trouble for years.
"My sight in both eyes was minus 5. It reached the stage when I was advised not to even wear contact lenses.
"But after two operations everything is perfect. It is a wonderful early wedding present."
Noelle, 27, from Hillsbrook, Perrystown, Dublin, is a finalist in our Millennium Bride Competition.
The winner will receive an array of super prizes including an exotic two week honeymoon in the paradise resort of Cancun, Mexico.
She had given us a clue when she wrote that her dream was: "To look in the mirror with eyes open wide and see my reflection as a millennium bride."
She said: "Only someone who suffered like me can know the nightmare it is not to have perfect vision. Even driving was a problem as I had to switch my lenses for special glasses.
"When I had the first operation done I thought I was going to die with the pain. I cried all night like a baby but the end result is fantastic."
But it still didn't stop her landing the "love of my life", Frank O'Connor from nearby Greentrees Road.
The couple have been together for more than three years, and got engaged on Christmas Eve.
They have set the date, May 12, 2000, with a millennium bash in Dublin's exclusive Radisson Hotel.
She says: "I'll be wearing my grandmother's wedding ring. She died when she was 94."
I'D known Frank since we were teenagers but it was my sister, Alison, who really introduced us. I'll be grateful to her for the rest of my life."
After studying at Dublin's College of Marketing and Design, Noelle fought her way into her chosen career.
"Someone suggested I should try my luck in Canada so when I qualified on a Friday I set off for Toronto the following Monday.
"I arrived there with a suitcase and little else with no prospect of a job."
Noelle eventually landed a job as a continuity announcer.
"However, I always wanted to do graphic design so I kept plugging away.
"I came home in 1992 and eventually landed a job with Sullivan Bluth Studios in Ardmore Studios in Bray as an animated cartoon checker.
"It entails checking out every single drawing of a cartoon while it is still on paper.
I find it fascinating but you can also see the problems it threw up because of my eyes."
Noelle worked on smash-hit movies such as All Dogs Go To Heaven and Cock-A-Doodle.
But one sad day the studio's 274 workers were told it was closing down.
"That really was a bombshell. There had been a buyer lined up but they wanted the purchase to include Don Bluth's library which was refused, so the deal fell through."
BUT luck was still with her as she landed a job with Panavision.
She now works with Terraglyph in Dublin which hopes to have a worldwide hit with movie Carnival, shown at last month's Cannes Film Festival.
Fiance Frank has been equally busy. After working in England he returned to Dublin to set up his own firm.
Shortly after that the couple started going out together. They walk, cycle, follow motorsports and are avid Manchester United fans. But talk of wedding plans are on hold for a while as the couple fly to the Isle of Man for the TT motorbike races.
And then it will be straight back to business.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jun 2, 1999|
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