A Testimonial From Will Carlin
About five years ago I was hit in the eye by a squash ball. At that time I was the United States squash champion and number 1 player and, for the first time in fifteen years, I was playing without eyeguards because they were in my other bag and I had forgotten to transfer them. If anyone tells you that eye injuries don’t happen to good players they are wrong. Period.
It was a random accident. My left handed opponent was hitting out of the back corner. I was on the T. I thought the ball was going down the wall so I edged over a little, but then as I watched him he hit a cross-court shot instead and it went directly into my eye from close range. Hard.
It was swollen past the end of my nose
I went down and when I tried to open my eye, I couldn’t. It was swollen past the end of my nose. I went to hospital immediately but there was so much blood in the eye that they couldn’t inspect the retina and I had to sleep overnight in a sitting position to let it drain. Two days later it had cleared enough for inspection and the report came – emergency surgery.
My retina was torn and partially detached and the operation consisted of stitching a small piece of metal to the outside of the eye so that the torn edges could overlap. For a week I could not read or watch TV and was in terrible pain. It was four months before I could play squash again and then after a year I found that more surgery was required to repair another part of the retina. This time there were complications and for about a week I thought I was going to lose the sight of that eye.
Now, with powerful contact lenses, my vision is about 20/30 but I have ghost images everywhere and will get glaucoma in the next 10 to 15 years. But the thing that frustrates me most is that I have not been able to stop more people getting the same injury. It happens more than most people think and yet it does not have to happen.
Do me one favour; let me be the idiot for all of us. Please wear eye protection every time you step on court.
— Will Carlin