A dad-of-two is taking legal action against The Range after he walked into a curtain pole while out shopping – and was left BLIND in one eye.
Ashley Clover, 26, was browsing the cushion aisle when he spun around and the pole – which was sticking out of a box – poked him in the eye.
When his sight failed to return he went to A&E, where doctors told him the right lens was badly damaged and his vision may never come back.
Railway worker Ashley has been left in agony with severe depression and he is now taking legal action against The Range, which has more than 100 stores nationwide.
Ashley, of Bridgend, south Wales, said: “My eyes were perfect before this. They were completely fine – I didn’t wear glasses or anything.
“I can’t do anything at all now. I can’t even interact with my partner because I have been so depressed.
“It has had a huge impact on my life. I can’t take the kids to school or go to the gym. I can’t do anything any more.
“It’s horrible. It has ruined my Christmas already. I’m not excited about anything any more.
“I’m having more tests but the doctors don’t know whether my vision will ever come back to me.”
Ashley was out shopping with partner Cherrie Myles, 29, at The Range store at Waterton Retail Park, Bridgend, on Sunday October 16 when the incident happened.
He said: “There was a pole hanging out that wasn’t correctly placed. It was hanging out of a box that wasn’t supposed to be on one of the shelves.
“I was looking at things and I turned around and it caught me clean in the eye.
“I instinctively grabbed my eye and was looking for someone. I didn’t know if someone had hit me or walked into me. It was manic.
“It didn’t bleed or anything like and I didn’t really feel the pain at first. It was more shock that anything else at that point.”
Ashley managed to find Cherrie and the angry couple spoke to a manager called Andrew, who advised that he contact The Range’s head office.
He did and was told they’d launch an investigation – but two weeks have passed and they still haven’t heard back.
After complaining, the couple rushed to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend where the first doctor said they would probably find that the lens was scratched.
But when he saw a specialist the following day – his eye swollen and his sight non-existent – he was told that the lens had been destroyed.
“I honestly don’t know why the box was there in the first place,” Ashley said.
“All I know is that it is causing me severe pain and depression and it’s agony. I have never felt pain like it before.
“I can’t open that eye at all at the moment as it’s very swollen. When the doctor shines a light in it when he opens it, I can’t see the light at all.
“I’m getting massive migraines. I can’t watch the telly, I have to just listen to it.”
Ashley is currently on antibiotics and said that his doctor has promised he’ll do everything he can to help.
The devastated dad, who has a son Brandon, seven and daughter Jayden, five, added: “I haven’t got a clue what the next step is.
“I want an apology from The Range – that would be nice to start. But how do you replace my eye? How do you replace my vision?
“I think I’ve got to take legal action because of the way I’ve been treated. I would be stupid if I didn’t.
“It could have happened to someone elderly and probably it would have killed them if they fell to the floor. It could have been even more serious.
“They need to look at their health and safety. They shouldn’t have poles in boxes like that anyway.
“I just want them to do something about it. Especially when I have lost my right eye for the rest of my life and my left eye is blurry because of the added strain.
“You need your eyes to do everything.”
Ashley said he has instructed a solicitor to take on the case and The Range have 40 days to respond to their original correspondence.
A spokesperson for the store said an investigation has been launched.
They added that Ashley drove away from the store that day but he denies this and says his partner Cherrie was at the wheel.
The Range said: “We have been in contact with the customer to confirm that a full investigation is taking place and we will continue to liaise with the customer directly.”