Blind man lays eyes on wife for the first time
The notion today would be the day he could see things for the first time in 27 years was 'too good to be true' for Brian Casey.
Later that afternoon as he laid eyes on his wife Beverly for the first time, he could acknowledge that miracles can sometimes happen.
It was two sports accidents in the late 1980s that caused Brian to go blind. But this week he was allowed the opportunity to see again thanks to the impressive new eSight headset.
At a cost of £10,000 each it’s not a permanent option for Brian, but the brief opportunity he was given has meant the world.
Brian, who was born in Hemel Hempstead and lived in Highfield and Grovehill, moved to Fleetwood in Lancashire for a job just after he went blind.
It denied him some of the simple pleasures in life he treasured, such as racing cars and watching his beloved Watford.
So how does someone explain what it’s like to see for the first time in nearly three decades?
“I couldn’t believe all the colour,” said Brian. “I’ve not seen colour for a long time. It was a visual explosion.
“Once I put the headset on it was like being in a sweet shop, I couldn’t stop looking at everything, even little things like price tags.”
Brian was playing squash for Hemel Hempstead in August 1988 when he was hit in the cheekbone by a racquet and underwent eye tests. A year to the day later he was playing football in the town when the ball hit him in the temple.
He would never see again, until this week.
Now working for charity N-Vision in Blackpool, he had two emotional meetings after temporarily regaining his sight.
The first was with wife Beverly, who is also blind. Sadly the headset didn’t work for Beverly, but the two married 17 years ago after meeting at a blind rehabilitation centre in Torquay - what Brian cheekily calls a “blind date.”
He said: “I had never seen my wife, so it was surreal. But I‘ve picked well! I knew I had married a gorgeous girl that day.”
Brian also saw his father Sairseil, known as Sash, who still lives in Hemel with wife Marion.
He said: “It was emotional for Dad. We did everything together, he was like my best friend, but then I lost my sight and we couldn’t do any of the things we were doing.
“He’s not a big talker, but I could see how emotional he was in his face. He would hate it if I said in the newspaper that he was close to tears!
“I would love to go and see a Watford game again with him. It’s just normal and little things like that which we all take for granted.”