[nfbmi-talk] Fw: ozzie in the news again

David Robinson drob1946 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 21:52:06 UTC 2014

----- Original Message ----- 
From: joe harcz Comcast 
To: David Robinson NFB MI 
Cc: terry Eagle ; Mark Eagle 
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2014 11:27 AM
Subject: ozzie in the news again

Health checkup: Osman Koroma grieves for guide dog, but says accident made him stronger | MLive.com

The accident made me grow up and be a strong man and have a strong faith in God." - Osman Koroma



Osman Koroma

is getting ready for a new guide dog.


He still grieves for


his ”lovely, crazy” guide dog who died when the pair was struck by a car.


“There is no dog that can ever replace her,” he said.


But Koroma, a 24-year-old blind man, has applied for a new dog and believes he will get one by the end of 2015.


He has completed rehab for the injuries he suffered in the accident and continues to speak with

compassion about the driver

of the car that hit him. The tough experiences he endured have made him a stronger man of faith, he said.


“Overall, it was a great 2014, and next year is going to be greater,” he said.



'My dog saved my life'

Blind man hit by car has sympathy for the driver

The accident

occurred the evening of March 19, as Koroma walked from a Rapid bus stop on South Division Avenue to a gas station, where he planned to call his dad for

a ride. He walked with Gala (pronounced Gall-ah), the 3-year-old black Labrador that had been his guide dog since February 2013.

Osman Koroma, 24, who is blind, is in critical condition at Spectrum Health Butterworth after he was struck by a car March 19. His guide dog Gala was killed

in the accident.Here he and Gala are walking on an outing with a camp by Unlimited Opportunities for the Blind. He is assistant camp director for the organization.

Osman Koroma and his guide dog, Gala, walk during an outing with a camp by Unlimited Opportunities for the Blind. Courtesy photo


Ever since he received Gala from Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., the two were a perfectly matched pair. Gala was friendly, outgoing

and playful – just like her owner.


“She did crazy stuff,” Koroma said. “I just loved her. Me and my friends would talk about her pretty much all the time.”


When a car hit them, Gala took the brunt of the hit. Koroma suffered a brain injury and a broken right leg and spent a week in the intensive care unit at

Spectrum Health. But he believes Gala saved his life.


The accident was investigated by Wyoming police and the case was reviewed by the Kent County Prosecutor's office. No charge or citation was issued against

the driver, said Wyoming Police Capt. Kim Koster.


Koroma did therapy at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. And in June, he underwent surgery to replace the part of his skull removed to relieve pressure

on his brain.


He has completed rehab and can walk well, though he still has tightness and some pain in his right leg. His leg “won’t ever be the same again,” he said.

“But overall, I’m doing pretty good. It could have been worse.”


As he was recovering in the hospital just a few weeks after the accident, Koroma spoke about his concern for the driver of the car that hit him. He still

feels compassion for the man and says he understands he did not mean to hit him.


“I’m not going to fault him about it,” Koroma said. “It’s not going to bring back my lovely, crazy dog. Nothing anyone can do can bring her back. He should

just move on to try to make his life better, like I’m doing.”


Koroma, a native of Liberia, was 14 when he and his family came to West Michigan as refugees. He lost his sight as a teenager because of cataracts he had

since he was a child.


After the accident, he was touched and surprised to hear his experiences inspired others. People have told him his positive attitude and strength have helped

them overcome challenges.


Last summer, he was able to go back to work as a counselor for Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind.


In January, he plans to attend Lansing Community College and then transfer to Michigan State University. He wants to study education and become a teacher

consultant for the visually impaired.


And a new guide dog will be part of his life, he said, because “I love working with a dog.”


“I had a bad accident, but I came out of it,” he added. “The accident made me grow up and be a strong man and have a strong faith in God.


“In a way, the accident kind of taught me a lesson – just to always have faith in God. Because no matter what, he is always going to be there in the end.”


Sue Thoms covers health care for MLive/The Grand Rapids Press. Email her at

sthoms1 at mlive.com

or follow her on








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