George to the Rescue Helps Blind Teenage Swimmer
Fifteen year-old Anastasia Pagonis’ vision impairment has progressively worsened over the years. In 2018, she lost her vision, but she did not let that stop her zest for life. She turned to what she knew and loved — swimming.
Pagonis’ passion for swimming developed as a form of therapy as she battled vision decline between the ages of five and 15. Now, she’s almost completely blind.
“I want to live a normal life. I don’t want my disability to stop me in any way,” Pagonis said.
George to the Rescue host George Oliphant was moved by Pagonis’ story and wanted to help make life easier for Pagonis, also known as Tas.
“We want to surprise Tas with a lifechanging rescue that will give her the independence and comfort she deserves,” said Oliphant. “Now usually on the rescue we like to the change the layout. But, I think in this house it’s important to keep it the same because that’s what Tas knows.”
The George to the Rescue crew worked to renovate her home with a tactile bathroom, bedroom makeover, light sensitivity windows and an endless swimming pool to make it easier for Pagonis to navigate her home while managing vision loss.
Pagonis hopes to inspire others who are visually impaired and face their own personal challenges. She is currently training for the 2020 Paralympics.
Oliphant brought Molly Burke, a blind YouTuber, to meet Pagonis.
“It’s mindblowing… You helped me with so much with everything,” Pagonis said to Burke.
Watch the episode to see the Pagonis family home transformation.