Brian able to see wife for first time ever

Brian Casey thought he would never see properly again after losing his sight nearly 27 years ago.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 11:48 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:20 am

The former mechanic, who lives in Fleetwood, was left with virtually no vision after two fluke sports injuries occurred within exactly a year of each other.

But thanks to a remarkable piece of technology, Brian has been able to see clearly and even managed to look upon his wife Beverly’s face for the first time ever.

Brian, 51, enjoyed what he calls a “life changing” experience after he become the first person in Britain and Europe to trial the pioneering eSight, billed as the world’s most sophisticated ‘electronic glasses’.

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After trialling the equipment in London last month, Brian has hailed eSight as a great break-through.

Although there is no guarantee it will work for everyone with vision impairment, Brian says it enabled him to see clearly for the first time in nearly three decades.

Trials are now being held on the Fylde coast - but eSight is not cheap.

A headset is currently retailing at £9,995.

Brian, who lives off Poulton Road, Fleetwood, was given the chance of the trial because he works as a low vision officer for the charity NVision (the Blackpool, wyre and Fylde Society for the Blind) and had come into contact with Associated Optical, the company which is the UK partner of eSight.

Brian, originally from Hemel Hempstead, said; “They have done successful trials in Canada and I didn’t hesitate to be the first person to try it in Britain and Europe.

“I really would describe it as life-changing.

“The first time I put the headset on, I was able to see a clock on the wall actually read the time.

“I looked upon my wife’s face for the first time and she was even more beautiful than I expected.

“For the first time in years I was able to read a newspaper.

“One of the most amazing things was being able to see colours for the first time event, they were so vivid.

“I am definitely interested in buying one, I am saving up for it.

“I hope to be able to see Fleetwood Town play - I’ve not seen a football match for nearly 30 years.”

It was on August 11, 1988, that Brian, then a keen sportsman, lost the vision in his left eye, when he was hit in the eye by a squash rocket.

With remarkable ill luck, exactly a year later he was smashed in the face by a football, causing his cheeckbone to break and pierce his right eye.

Rendered severely visually impaired, he lost his job and spiralled into depression.

However, things looked up when he met his future wife Beverly, from Fleetwood, at a rehabilitation centre in Torquay.

Brian moved to Fleetwood and the couple married.

Eventually he found work with the charity NVision.

Brian says: “I managed to get into a routine and found a way to get by.

“But I think with eSight, there is a real chance to enjoy some of the things I used to take for granted once again.”

Beverly, 46, , who has had a degree of visual impairment from birth, said: “We have both tried equipment in the past and it hasn’t worked, so I told Brian not to build his hopes up.

I was with Brian when he was involved in the trials in London and I realised from what he was saying that he could see, I could just make out his movement and realised he was looking around him.

“It was a really exciting moment.”

At the NVision centre on Bosworth Place, South Shore, a number of other trialled eSight.

One of them was pensioner Jeff Crozier, of St Annes, who said; “I have peripheral vision but eSight I could make out faces much more clearly. The colours were brilliant.

“This equipment costs £10,000 and that is a big investment, I don’t think I would buy it.

“But if it was cheaper I would seriously consider it.”

Nick Hamlett, area manager for Associated Optical, said: “We are conducting more trials to give people the chance to see how it helps them/.

“We have already seen the price come down and so far the feedback has been really good.”

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