Which sense would you be willing to give up? Think about that for a second. Humans have five senses: Hearing, tasting, sight, touch, and sight. Together, these senses clue you in to the world around you. For those who are born without a sense, the question of whether or not they “miss” the ability of that sense is debatable, since they have never known that sense to begin with. But what if you lost a sense halfway through life? It’s a genuine question. A genuine bit of insight into my “former life” in the military: the prospect of losing a sense was very real. A close-proximity bomb blast could leave me hearing nothing but ringing bells. Shrapnel could remove eyesight and leave me missing the world I was used to seeing. and I learned how one exists missing taste after eating some of the food they attempted to serve us during the worse of the supply convoy interruptions. That’s a bit of a joke, but think about not being able to taste a strawberry or an orange slice ever again, or missing the taste of a good steak or whiskey. Just think about that.
For Dr. Amit Patel, he lost sight. He lost sight completely in 2013, which not only ended his career as the driver of a first responder medical team, but his driving career, period. Not being able to drive kind of goes hand-in-hand with blindness. But Dr. Patel missed driving. He loved it. He loved the sensations, the freedoms, everything. So he reached out to Toyota of Great Britain with a request: he wanted to be able to drive again. So, Toyota helped: by strapping him into the Toyota GT86 that is used as the current Top Gear’s “Reasonably Priced Car”, on Dunsfold Aerodrome (the Top Gear Test Track) and by bringing in the help of Mark Watkins, a performance driving instructor who has worked with blind and partially sighted individuals. There were no dual controls, this is the exact car used by Top Gear. And Dr. Patel made it move…his time of 1:46.58 would put him fifth on the board.