Fiona was born in Enniskillen, N Ireland, and attended Queen's University Belfast where she qualified MBChB. She worked first in London hospitals and qualified MRCOphth. In 1997 she married Steven Hay from Glasgow and came to make her home in Glasgow with Steven and their first son, Hamish. In 2001 second son Peadar was born and in 2003 twin daughters Iona and Niamh.
Fiona had always been interested in using her medical skills to help people in developing countries. When she came to work in Glasgow she learned of trips to Ethiopia which teams of her ophthalmology colleagues had been making once or twice annually to tackle the huge problem of cataract blindness which affects thousands of people there.
Sadly Fiona was never able to make one of these trips. In April 2007 she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and died in December 2007. When she died, a proposal was made by her colleagues to set up a charity in her name. Fiona's husband and family decided that it would be a fitting tribute to Fiona's memory to dedicate this charity to a continuation of the work being done by her colleagues in improving eyecare in developing countries and in particular focussing on cataract blindness.