GRANDVILLE, Mich. ( April 16, 2014) — A blind man hit by a vehicle while walking home last month has been reunited with his team for the first time since the accident.
Ozzie Koroma, 23, has been recovering at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, but on Wednesday, he got to take a trip to see his friends.
Ozzie’s guide dog was killed in the accident, and he thinks that’s what saved his life.
His goal ball team is called the Mary Free Bed Sonics. The team practiced at Central Elementary School in Grandville on Wednesday.
“It’s like a part of home, and it’s good to be back and talking with people, hanging out, and just having fun as always,” said Ozzie.
Ozzie was on his way home from practice in Wyoming when he was hit.
Volunteer coach Maeling Groya said that she was horrified when she found out.
“I was actually at work and I just cried. It was so sad. It was really mortifying that not all of us were there to be of more assistance, but he takes the bus everyday and accidents happen,” said Groya.
Ozzie’s teammates said that his spirit hasn’t changed.
“He’s got such an effervescent personality. He’s always upbeat. He’s always positive. He’s got a great attitude,” said teammate Frank Kapugia.
The team said that they are a close knit group, sharing their struggle with blindness, but not letting it stop them from reaching their goals.
Ozzie’s teammates said that they themselves have had close calls when it comes to walking near the roadway.
“I’m sure any of us can tell stories about, you know what it’s like to be out, even on the sidewalk crossing the street. People just don’t have awareness of what that means,” said teammate Dave Cummins.
“Most of us are always as cautious as we can be, but we are still human beings and we are still not above making an error in judgement,” said Kapugia.
Ozzie said that he plans to go home from the hospital on Monday.
There is a fund setup for Ozzie to help with medical expenses. Ozzie also said that his laptop was broken when he was hit by the car, and is looking forward to getting 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.