‘Just lucky, I guess’

THERE is so much we take for granted as we travel the twisted road of life.

This big: Tim and Ben Pettingill were more than happy to jump in the water for a quick photo of Ben’s monster Murray cod.

This big: Tim and Ben Pettingill were more than happy to jump in the water for a quick photo of Ben’s monster Murray cod.

I remember a proverb told to me many years ago that went something along the lines of: I used to complain that I had no shoes till I met a man that had no feet. Unless you had met that man you might not dwell on this line that long.

Just recently I was to meet a young man who would enlighten the way I see things, even though he was unable to see them himself.

Ben Pettingill is clinically blind; he lost his eyesight unexpectedly at the age of 16.

At first, the sight went in one eye and then the other over an eight-week period.

It is a genetic disease which Ben was unaware of and it affects the optic nerve, which means there is no cure or treatment at the present time.

Ben is now 19 and in passing when questioned on his condition he said with a smile “I’m just lucky I guess”.

Tim Pettingill is Ben’s father and no prouder parent would you meet as he told me Ben continues to do the things he loves, including fishing, camping, hunting and water skiing.

Today it was fishing and the boys were determined to hook up to a large Murray cod on the cast. Now believe me, for most anglers casting lures towards the snags is a tricky affair.

If the cast is too long it gets tangled and snagged in the timber.

Too short and the lure is not in the fishes strike zone.

Now close your eyes and imagine how hard it is when you can’t even see the target.

As I cast towards the first snag, Ben let drive landing his lure not a foot to the side of where mine touched down.

While Ben may have lost his sight there was certainly nothing wrong with his hearing as cast after cast was centimeter-perfect and guided by the sound of my lure hitting the water.

If I landed short of the target simply adding an extra couple of metres would see his lure once again touch down in the intended zone. 

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday's Sunraysia Daily 08/08/2014.

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