Ben Underwood – The boy who saw without eyes

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Ben Underwood – Early childhood

Diagnosed with retinal cancer at the age of two, American Ben Underwood had his eyes removed at the age of three.

His mother was Aquanetta Gordon was a remarkably strong and positive woman. Right after Ben woke up from his surgery she kept telling him to see thorough his ears, nose and hands. She was his greatest strength.He discovered echolocation (sensing with sound) at the age of five. He was able to detect the location of objects by making frequent clicking noises with his tongue.

Ben sees without eyes

When his doctor Ruben saw Ben playing his game boy, he was totally amazed. He walked in the patient room and looked at Ben, walked over to the computer desk to confirm Ben was blind.  The doctor in amazement said, “How the heck does he play video games” . Totally blown away, he thought you have to talk to other parents and talked about his story to a local news outlet. Dr Ben claimed that Underwood was one of the most proficient human echolocators.

Since then, Ben was on the front page of the May 7th Sunday paper of the Sacramento Bee and the Observer. From there he was in the July 24th issue of People Magazine where they sent him to Sea World to swim with the Dolphins. Then he was on the Ellen Show, after wards he went to Chicago for the Oprah. We also went to Japan and was on a talk show there for the Japanese community. There is also a one hour documentary of Ben’s story that aired on The Learning Channel.

Underwood died on January 19, 2009 at the age of 16, from the same cancer that took his vision.

Ben Underwood -  The boy who saw without eyes Ben Underwood's Mom Aquanetta Gordon
Image: Ben Underwood’s Mom Aquanetta Gordon