GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April 11, 2014) – A 23-year-old blind man who moved to Grand Rapids after spending eight years in a refugee camp in Sierra Leone is recovering in the hospital after being hit by a vehicle.
“I always think of that there is always strength before weakness and a journey before a destination, so I always have faith,” said Osman Koroma.
Koroma, known as Ozzie, is making triumphs in his recovery. Ozzie’s guide dog was killed when he was hit by a vehicle March 20, 2014. Doctors had told his family that they weren’t sure he’d survive either.
Ozzie said that he remembers laying in his hospital bed, unable to talk, and listening to words of encouragement from his loved ones.
“They were like the inspiration in what they said to me, and what they did for me and just being there for me,” said Ozzie.
Ozzie was walking near this intersection S. Division and 56th Street in Wyoming when he was struck. His sister Josephine said that she knew something was wrong when Ozzie didn’t answer his cell phone.
Ozzie said that his guide dog, Gala was struck by the vehicle first.
“I remember walking with my dog on the sidewalk, and then getting hit by a car. Obviously my dog ended up dying, but she saved my life,” said Ozzie.
Dr. Stephen Bloom said that Ozzie’s remarkable recovery is a testiment of his physical and emotional strength.
“Ozzie is just a wonderful example of the human will to recovery after an injury like this, and to get back to our regular lives,” said Dr. Bloom.
“I always believe that nothing is impossible. I can climb any mountain that I want to climb. When I fall off the mountain, I’m just going to get up again and keep going up,” said Ozzie.
Ozzie said that before moving to west Michigan, he witnessed violence and gruesome killings while living in a refugee camp in Africa. He said that those experiences have made him the man he is today.
” I always know there is always going to be someone else who has it worse than me,” said Ozzie.
Ozzie said that his real passion is working with children, teaching them responsibilty and motivating them to reach their goals.
“Oh my goodness, working with kids again. I always love working with kids,” said Ozzie.
Ozzie compares his blindness to having a suspended drivers lisence, saying it’s an inconvenience, but he can figure out ways to get around it. Ozzie said that sight is just one of his five senses.
Also, Ozzie’s laptop was in his backpack and was broken in the accident. He said that he hopes when he gets out of the hospital, he can save up enough money to get a new one.
If you would like to help donate to Ozzie’s support fund, you can email Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.