National News

Couple overcomes health issues

Posted May 5, 2018 11:40 a.m. EDT

— Rhonda and Ben Partain are like two peas in a pod.

"I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Rhonda, but, we do everything together," says Ben.

It's a good thing after being married for 33 years but Ben's math is a little different.

"It's been 35 years and about 10 days that we've known each other. We've done pretty well, so far," he says.

He goes back to that first date, a blind date.

"He teases people and says, he thought I said blonde on the phone. But I didn't. I said blind."

Even before that, by phone, Ben realized there was something else about Rhonda.

"And from the first five weeks, I realized she talks about 100 miles an hour."

She also likes to laugh a lot.

For years, Rhonda saw the world with Ben's help. Even with all the difficulties.

"Even the kids at church will say, why won't God fix your eyes? I'd say, well, I don't know. Maybe he will one day. But it's okay because I can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I can make you chocolate chip cookies," says Rhonda. "There's so many humorous moments. Like when I put the little girl's pink socks into his white underwear and turned them all pink."

At the age of 42 something in Ben's life changed.

"I lost a majority of my eyesight about 14 years ago."

Disease robbed him of 75 percent of his eyesight.

But Rhonda wouldn't let it rob him of living.

"Well, I can't see anything. Well, bless your heart! I don't see anything either. I don't see anything at all. You've got some vision. Get over it!"

All the tricks and technology she'd used to liver her best life turned out to be training for Ben.

But Rhonda wasn't done with him yet. She really did turn out to be his perfect match, a lifesaver.

"She gave me a kidney, and thanks to her, I've had a whole new life. Many, many chapters."