Olympic mentor’s poor vision causes near miss, leading to “life-changing” eye procedure

Last month Bernie Shrosbree, the professional sports mentor and high performance coach, almost collided with a car due to his poor vision. The frightening experience made him realise his eye sight had to be corrected.

Bernie, aged 55, has trained Olympic rowers James Cracknell, TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle, as well as Olympic three day eventer Andrew Nicholson whom he mentored for the 2012 Olympics.

He explains: “I was out on my road bike with my son and pulled out of a junction, to narrowly miss a car. My son asked ‘didn’t you see it?’ and I simply had not! It was quite a defining moment and I realised something had to be done about my sight.”

Bernie had also been embarrassed at a recent meal out with his wife at a high profile restaurant, where his lack of glasses meant he could not even read the menu.

Bernie, who lives in Poole, then discovered ClarivuTM which is available at Optegra Solent Eye Hospital, and after research went for it.

He explains that at this stage in his career he needs to be at the top of his game – and part of that is having perfect vision and not having to worry about reading and seeing. Never again did he want to go to do a presentation and realize he had no glasses and could not read anything!

He says: “Being involved in sport and coaching makes strong demands on my vision, like reading a map on my mountain bike, navigating in a kayak in the rain, to reading Garmin data while paddling in Poole Harbour. Or simply the phone ringing and not being able to see who is calling. Clarivu really has been life-changing for me in my career and has taken out so much stress, I had not realized how much hassle I was enduring with glasses constantly on and off.”

Bernie mainly wanted to correct his reading vision, having worn reading glasses for five years. However it was only at his consultation that he realised he also had problems with his long distance vision, but had just accepted how poor his long sight was.

“Clarivu” is the brand name used exclusively by Optegra, for its individually tailored vision correction (Refractive Lens Exchange – RLE) package. The package includes all diagnostic eye assessments, an advanced technology intraocular lens (IOL), specifically chosen for the lifestyle and visual goals of the patient by their Optegra consultant ophthalmic surgeon at their consultation, the procedure undertaken in an Optegra eye hospital and all post-operative care.

Bernie described the procedure as very relaxed, quick and he felt very well briefed on the recovery process. He was amazed the next morning to be able to read a text from his daughter – the first time he had ever done so without putting glasses on first!

Ophthalmic surgeon Mr Robert Morris treated Bernie at Optegra Solent Eye Hospital, and said: “We are always keen to meet individual patient’s needs – some for example want vision sharp enough to thread a needle while others want to be able to watch TV without glasses. For Bernie, there was such a vital need to have excellent vision, both to ease the visual demands of his career and also to increase his enjoyment of sports in his leisure time. I am so pleased that he is delighted with the outcome.”

In his 32nd year as an athlete, Bernie’s high profile career has been as varied as training the Red Bull F1 team to coaching sports performance for kids at BCS school in Bournemouth…anything from private jets to mini buses!

As well as a career in sports, Bernie’s main pleasures are outdoor adventure sports, both winter and summer, and his favourites are ski mountaineering, mountain biking and surf ski paddling.

He is married with two children, and now his vision is back on track, is looking forward to a cycling holiday in the Alps.

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