“If you do what it takes and stay the course, anything is possible,” Schaffert said.
Schaffert’s journey began when he was 10 years old. He came from a working class family from Brownlee Woods. He loved watching sports and in June 1960, he was at a ball field observing a game from the seat of his bicycle that he parked near third base.
As he watched the game, he was looking to the outfield and turned back towards home plate just as the batter cracked a line drive right into the side of Schaffert’s head.
“I was knocked unconcious from the seat of my bike,” he said.
He still recalls the next two weeks that followed the accident. He lay in St. Elizabeth Hospital for 14 days following some reconstructive surgery. All 14 days were spent in darkness.
“I had my eyes both wrapped, which was the protocol of the times for a head injury,” he said.
When the bandages were finally lifted, he found that he could no longer see out of his left eye. He underwent a surgery that saved the eye by removing part of the iris. He was left partially blind with one blue and one brown eye.
“I was unique,” he said.
He was referred to as Mr. Lucky, since the ball that crushed his face hit just inches from the temple that would have meant certain instant death.
He said growing up as a little boy with two different colored eyes would have made him feel like a freak were it not for one special person in his life.
“Even as a young boy, I had dreams for what my life would be, but after the accident I began to doubt those dreams,” he said. “I was fortunate to have a very special person at home in my grandmother Mary Helen Stratton. She taught me her faith and transformed my life.”
He said it was all about seeing the potential one has. It was not about feeling bad about a situation. He said he had read that life is 20 percent of what happens to a person and 80 percent about how they respond to it.
Schaffert decided he would not let the accident and outcome stop him from realizing his dreams. Instead he moved forward and became one of only a few top salespeople for the Pfizer Corporation. In his success, he was inducted into the Pfizer Hall of Fame and got to enjoy time with Donald Trump at his Florida Mar-a-Lago villa.
After that weeklong stay, he asked where he needed to go from here.
“I decided I wanted to give back, I wanted to help others,” he said. That was when he decided to write the book and put into words how he achieved success.”
On the flight home to Ohio, he laid out what would be the chapters of his book. That was in March of 2005. Over the next six years he would write whenever he could while still working full time. He eventually finished the book and got it published this year.
In the book, he wrote that he had come a long way from Mahoning County, Ohio to Mar-a-Lago.
The book is presently available on amazon.com, but Schaffert is looking at some local book signings over the coming months.
Schaffert said he hopes that others will pick up his book and be inspired to achieve success in life.
“Success is being willing to step into the arena and onto the playing field of life, and pursue yours dreams,” he said.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Eric Schaffert of Poland holds his first book titled, “Blind Faith, Blind Ambition: A Vision for Success.”