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'Cyclists left us blind in one eye', claim Swansea duo

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

Keith Hedges at the lane where he was injured.

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PEST cyclists have left two Swansea men blind in one eye, it has been claimed.

Nigel Waters and Keith Hedges said they were struck by cyclists on a pavement and footpath respectively.

Mr Waters, of Brynmill, said the incident forced him to take early retirement, and has changed his life.

The 60-year-old said he was hit at speed on a pavement on Argyle Street, Sandfields.

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"It felt like I had been hit by a truck," he said. "I was struck down my left side — my head, elbow and thigh — and I fell on my right."

He said the cyclist, who also sustained injuries, stopped and apologised.

"I limped into work at the Grand Theatre, and they patched me up," said Mr Waters, of Phillips Parade.

But he said he began to experience flashing lights while in bed.

"Then, about three weeks later I had a meeting at work and all of a sudden there was this shower of black dots in my eye," he said.

Mr Waters sought hospital treatment and discovered the retina in his left eye had torn. An operation followed, but the retina became detached once more, prompting further treatment.

Mr Waters said his right retina then became detached a few months later.

He tried to return to his box office manager role, but reluctantly took early retirement due to ill health because he struggled with computers and handling money.

"The worst thing of all was giving up work," he said. "I had been working six days a week for 28 years. It was a very busy job, but I just could not do it.

"I miss the place dreadfully. I could have worked there until I dropped. It was such fun, but hard work."

Mr Waters said he could make out some colour and a bit of shape with his left eye. His right eye is generally okay, apart from a black bubble sensation due to silicone oil being applied to hold the retina.

He said prior to the 2011 collision he was very healthy, with good eyesight.

He said he was adamant the accident caused his sight problems, but that he had "no feelings" towards the cyclist.

"He changed my life, but he did not know he was going to," he said.

Mr Hedges's story has echoes of that of Mr Waters.

The 70-year-old said he was hit on a path near his home in Glynderwen Close, Derwen Fawr.

"He knocked me down, then got off his bike, grabbed my shirt, punched me in the chest and gave me a bit of verbal," he said.

Mr Hedges said as time went by he began to see stars, and that later he lost the sight in his left eye, although he can still sense light.

He, too, believed the bike impact was to blame.

Mr Hedges said he used to cycle himself, and urged riders to be responsible. "Take it slow and say 'hello' — don't charge about like a lunatic," he said.


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  • charioteer17  |  May 16 2014, 8:43AM

    So much for the contention that all cyclists are responsible and watch out for pedestrians. There are a lot of considerate cyclists about but there are many who are selfish and couldn't care less. Isn't it time to look at taking some action against these law breaking and dangerous cyclists rather than forcing pedestrians to share pavements with them?

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