For London-Based Architect and Cyclist, A Vision Renewed
A Sudden Detour for a Healthy Architect
In April 2013, Heinz Richardson, 59, a director at the architecture firm Jestico+Whiles in London, England, embarked on a behemoth challenge: He and a team of cyclists began a ride totaling 4,437 miles through the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom -- starting in Portland, Ore., and ending on Portland Place in London. The charity bike tour, P2P, served a dual purpose of raising money for three charities and giving the team of architects and urban designers a chance to see how the infrastructure of American cities supported cycling and environmental stability.
In late May, Richardson and the cycling team were trekking through South Dakota when the vision in his left eye suddenly became blurry. Richardson, a fit and healthy Briton, was cycling 70-100 miles a day with P2P and chalked it up to nothing more than the stress of constant travel and weather. He used eye drops, hoping it would clear up the blurriness. A week and a half later, the team arrived in Chicago for several days' rest. By that time, Richardson estimated he could only see about 20 percent of objects clearly and decided to do something about the persistent blur.
In Chicago, Richardson had no idea to whom or where to turn. At the recommendation of a hotel staff member, he and his wife visited the University of Chicago Medicine, where he was taken into the eye clinic and underwent a battery of eye exams. Seenu M. Hariprasad, MD, chief of vitreoretinal service, delivered the shocking results, which showed Richardson was suffering from an eye stroke, also known as retinal vein occlusion.