Dave Gould: ‘Somebody had actually been running roughly the room, pulling decorations turn off the wall.’ Photograph: Gary Calton/The Guardian
Dave Gould: ‘Somebody had actually been running around the room, pulling decorations turn off the wall.’ Photograph: Gary Calton/The Guardian

I was in my first term at Brighton college in 2013. One November weekend, I saw my then girlfriend Mel in ~ Sussex University. There to be a party in she halls that residence. It to be rammed, with about 30 civilization dancing, play beer pong and generally to run riot.

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Around midnight, ns was chatting come a fellow student top top a sofa once I feeling an excruciating pains in mine left eye. It was immediate and also total agony, the worst ache I’d ever felt. Ns instinctively elevated my hands to cover mine face. When I squinted down, there was a swimming pool of clear liquid in my palms. Ns was quite drunk yet knew I required to obtain to a quieter, much safer space. Mel’s bedroom was the next room; she saw me walk in and also followed.

At an initial I assumed my hands to be filled v tears, so ns wiped them clean and also sat for five minutes, attempting come ride the end the pain. I sobered up fast, and could barely open up my eye because that either of us to figure out the damage caused. Every time ns tried to, my vision to be blurry – choose looking underwater in a swim pool. My appropriate eye to be streaming, too. Shortly we take it a taxi to A&E, and also we to be directed across the roadway to the eye hospital, wherein I to be called automatically into an check room.

During this time, we began to piece together what had actually happened. My intuition said me the something had actually hit me in the eye, and also right before it happened somebody had been running roughly the room, pulling decorations turn off the wall. We realised a illustration pin must have actually flown throughout the room and stabbed me in the eye. I didn’t know if it bounced ago out or if squeezing my eye closeup of the door in pain forced it out.

Our thinking was evidenced when a nurse said me I had a feet in my eye. A specialist was dubbed to find out just how deep the went. If the was just partially pierced, I can be discharged immediately with an eye patch. The worry was the it can be pierced all the method through. The front of our eyes deserve to cope with international debris, like dust, sleep and also flies; yet the ago doesn’t normally encounter this and so isn’t built for it. There was likewise a risk that if the pin had actually hit the ago of my eye, and also the bundle the nerves there, I could have gone blind.

The specialist uncovered that the pen had entered my cornea, anterior chamber and iris, and pierced the lens. The pool of fluid in mine hands had actually not to be tears, but liquid indigenous the lens. The danger of infection, which might lead come the loss of mine eye, was high, so i was immediately put in the only bed available, top top the children’s ward.

I continued to be for four days, put on an eye patch, while mine eye to be monitored. It had reacted come the lens liquid as a international substance, and also attacked it, for this reason the hole wouldn’t close. However, no infection developed, so ns was at some point discharged and booked in for surgery to repair the feet in three weeks’ time. Ns wore an eye job day and also night while ns waited.

It went well; the surgeon peeled ago my cornea 80%, like a tin can, to disclose the iris. He then got to through the pupil come pull out the damaged lens, changed it with an intraocular lens (a lens implant) and stitched it on come the iris to store it in place. Ns was given a basic anaesthetic, woke up high as a kite and began praising lot of nurses roughly me for every their difficult work. I later on realised there was just one nurse, law laps.


My aftercare program was strict because the brand-new lens to be at risk of dislodging. Any exercise various other than wade was not allowed. I went to my college end-of-term party but left immediately, as well worried around being knocked through drunk, to dance students.

I supplied to have 20/20 vision, however five years on, mine long-distance vision in my left eye is quiet blurry. I can read close up v both eyes: text appears very crisp, v a halo roughly it.

I was really unlucky, but I’m conscious of exactly how much worse it might have been – the pin piercing mine eye in a different way, or an infection picked up en course to hospital can have intended I lost my eye.

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But ns don’t bear any kind of resentment towards the human being who go it, and also I’ve never ever tried to discover them or call them. Ns didn’t want to burden anyone through the guilt: castle weren’t intentionally flicking pins roughly the room.