Having recently had a visitor from overseas who was left completely blind, due an injury at work. I was in need for a travel companion to try and reduce the difficulty and make his return better than the one here.
We often take things for granted, the simple things are the ones we think of last.
My brother used to help others in his work, often going to the aid of families who had lost close members of their family at road fatalities, ying to make a difference in the North East of England.
He asked for assisted flight and got left to not only read his menu, which was not in Braille. That would not have helped him as he can't read it butit may help others who can. He was left to try and locate his sugar and work out if it was the sink or the loo he was feeling with his bare hands.
Being a proud man, he felt his way and managed to pee in the right place, He however could not work out where his sugar was or if he had in fact been asked if he wanted his in flight meal, he did not get asked, he could not see they were talking to him,"woud you like you meal" sounds the same when it's said to a group of people sitting close to each other.
The time came when we had to say our goodbyes and the stress of leaving him at the airport in the hands of complete strangers that really don't understand what it is to be in a world of darkness, is a terrible thought. It certainly falls into nothing next to the thought of actually flying blind( no punne intended) to that end a quick message and request was posted on PIA for a travel companion.
Ben the farrier AKA Ben Pollock and his wife Nicola answered within hours, what a relief!
Ben Met him at the airport offered and ensured he got back to the UK refreshed and most importantly without the stress of sitting along in the darkness in a plane without even knowing who your sat next too.
To Ben I am in your debt and I thank you and Nic for coming to the aid of David, I know he is so grateful for your conversation and your arm.
To all those who travel, rememeber this, the person who sits and remains silent in a seat, may not be rude or ignorant. He or she may in fact be blind and scared, an offer of help could be as simple as, do you need any help, can I read you your menus, or do you have sugar?
If you don't ask then you may never know that you have just earned your extra bonus points for when you need them.
Singapore airlines you need to consider what assisted travel means, it certainly does not mean put them in the seat and forget about them!!,,
To Ben my best wishes go to you And to all the others who moan about the heat, the drivers the police or anything else that pulls their cord, he loved Australia and never saw any of it.
Thanks to the PIA site, it works
I forgot to add after bring injured he has started a charity for other emergency workers who get injurefeel free to go and have a look at www.bluelamp-foundation.org