Many of us have ups and downs throughout our lives, and it can be down to the people around us to help us get back on our feet. That was the case for one blind swimmer as she only rediscovered her love for the sport thanks to her guide dog.
Losing Her Sight
Anastasia Pagonis lives in New York and was just 14 years old when she lost her eyesight. The trouble lasted two months, and at the end, she was left without her sight. Anastasia quickly fell into a whirlpool of depression and anxiety as she struggled to come to terms with her new life.
A New Passion
It turns out that Anastasia had started swimming just six months before she lost her sight. The teen knew how happy she felt in the water, but she was anxious about getting back in. Anastasia decided that she had to do something to get herself out of the rut.
That’s when Anastasia got a call about Radar. The guide dog had been training with a professional hockey team, so he knew everything he needed to be a guide dog for Anastasia. Now, it was just time for the pair to meet.
An Instant Connection
Anastasia and Radar trained for 10 days, several hours at a time. In this time, they learned everything about one another and instantly fell in love. Now, Anastasia says that she has her independence back and has found her “match made in heaven.” The best bit? Her swimming has come so far that Anastasia has won several titles, including two golds at the World Para Swimming World Series.
A blind swimmer and her guide dog have taken the sporting world by storm. Life once seemed as though there was nowhere to go for Anastasia, but meeting Radar has given her a brand new lease of life.