[nfbmi-talk] Fw: ozzie in the news again
drob1946 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 21:52:06 UTC 2014
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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
GRAND RAPIDS, MI –
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
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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