GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April 4, 2014) — Family and friends of a blind man hit by a car last month are raising money in his honor.
Osman Koroma, 24, or Ozzie as he’s known, has been defying odds all his life and continues to fight in the hospital.
He was hit near South Division and 56th Street by a vehicle on March 20, 1014. His seeing eye dog was killed, and doctors weren’t sure if Ozzie would survive either.
Ozzie came to Michigan from a refugee camp in Africa in 2005, that’s also the same year he went blind.
His father and sister said that he’s always been a fighter, not only in the wrestling ring, but also while helping to inspire other blind students here in West Michigan.
“He do stuff by himself that you would think that he would not be able to do,” said Ozzie’s sister, Josephine Koroma.
Ozzie’s family said that he spoke for the first time on Saturday.
“I talked to him this morning. He talked to me, shook my hand, asked for his cellphone and I told him I’m not gonna to bring it,” said Ozzie’s father, Adama Korona.
Josephine said that she knew something was wrong the night of the accident when Ozzie didn’t answer his cell phone.
“I told him, once he gets to 68th street, just call me, but he did not call me. At 11 o’clock I called his phone again and nobody answered, so it was probably at like 1 o’clock when the police came over and knocked on the door,” said Josephine.
Josephine said that once the family arrived to the hospital, doctors told them what they were fearing the most.
“We got to the hospital the night it happened. The doctor said he had 24 hours. So, that was not good news to hear,” said Josephine.
Koroma’s family said that it’s his strength that is helping his defy the odds by moving out of intensive care, and on the road to recovery.
“When we were in Africa, they would say, ‘Well you come to America and are going to be able to do nothing because you are blind. Bind people can’t do anything.’ To see somebody who’s blind play sports, do track and make a lot of friends is really inspiring,” said Josephine.
Ozzie isn’t in the clear yet. He will still need to have several surgeries before doctors will know what his full recovery will entail.