The Brazilian beats have been inspiring Britain’s sportsmen and women to Olympic success of the gold, silver and bronze variety – and in turn have been inspiring the millions of us glued to the television at home.
And while these standout achievements are a testament to years of unflinching dedication to their respective sports, so often we hear that there is also a moving backstory that has driven these Olympians on.
Last night, for example, I learned that Chris Mears, part of the pair that won Great Britain’s first Olympic diving gold medal in the men’s synchronised 3m springboard, had been given a 5% chance of surviving after having collapsed with a ruptured spleen in 2009. Yet he was back performing in the Commonwealth Games a year later.
Out of the pool and over in the eventing arena, OT found out about William Fox-Pitt’s return to health after a fall that left him in an induced coma only last October.
Describing how his sight was affected following the fall – “my double and blurred vision made me feel very aware of my disability…I could ride on the flat, but jumping was tricky when one fence became four” – Mr Fox-Pitt turned to the Dorset-based team at Shaylers Vision Centre for help.
After the team designed a visual therapy programme bespoke to the British eventer’s needs, which included syntonic phototherapy, Mr Fox-Pitt was able to return to Olympic competition.
Another moving patient story that emerged this week was Ralph McMurray, a retired police officer, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer following a sight test.
Speaking about the eye examination and diagnosis, Mr McMurray said: “I am so glad I went for that eye test as the cancer would have only got worse and I may not even be here now. I am so grateful for the treatment and care I have received from Wardale Williams Opticians and at the hospitals.”
If you have an inspiring story of a patient who has had a life-changing experience relating to their sight, please do get in touch with the OT team.