Watching a World Cup game on TV seems like an easy thing to do. But what if you are blind and deaf?
That’s the story of Carlos, a Brazil fan whose unique way of watching the game has more than 400,000 views on YouTube.
Carlos, 27, began to lose his eyesight when he was 14 years old. And before this year, he hadn’t watched a soccer match in two years. But he wanted the World Cup to be different; he wanted to experience the games. His friend Hélio made it possible.
Sign language instructor Hélio Fonseca de Araújo woke up on the morning of June 12 with an urge to call Carlos to watch the World Cup opener between Croatia and Brazil, but he knew he had to make some changes for his friend to be able to enjoy the game.
So he made a plan, and documented it all in a video on YouTube.
Hélio told the New York Daily News that Carlos came up with the idea himself. The first step was to create an exact replica of the World Cup soccer field out of wood, puffy paint, and other materials.
Then when the game started, the instructor used tactile field and hand movements to show Carlos what was happening in the game. He moved Carlos’ hands around the mini field, signaling where the ball was, while another friend made movements on Carlos’ back to help his understanding.
At about 10 minutes into the video, Brazil scored their first goal of the game. And though Carlos couldn’t see or hear it happen, he felt it. He threw his hands in the air, pounded on the board, and shared in the exciting moment.
According to the Daily News, Carlos was diagnosed with Usher syndrome at age 14, and has been gradually losing his eyesight since then. Now he can only see shapes and contours, which is why he hadn’t watched a soccer match in two years until now.
“When I posted the video, I was aiming to show that for everything in life there is a solution, so that other interpreters (can) use this with their friends or deaf and blind clients,” Hélio tols the newspaper.
The game was an emotional experience for Carlos and his friends who helped him out. In the end, Brazil beat Croatia 3-1.
In the video’s description on YouTube, Hélio said that Carlos said he prayed all week that someone would help him watch the game, and that God had had gone beyond his expectations.