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Reclaiming Her Life

Bosma Enterprises - 12/5/2019 12:29:30 PM

Carrie Turpin had no idea how her life would change after what should have been a typical visit to her doctor.

In September of 2012, an outbreak of fungal meningitis spread across America due to contaminated steroid injections. There were 268 cases of this rare and potentially fatal, albeit noncontagious disease reported. Unfortunately, Carrie Turpin was injected with the contaminated medicine comprised of mold, fungus and bacteria. It became very serious for Carrie and in fact, her heart to stop beating. Fortunately for Carrie, the doctors were able to restart her heart and bring her back to life. However, by that time, the damage had been done. Her central nervous system and vision were severely affected. When she woke up a day later, she suffered brain trauma, could not walk, problems with her central nervous system, and suffered from double vision. The only words she could say when she woke up was "dentist". She can laugh about it now, but during that time, she was lost and depressed.

It took extensive physical therapy before Carrie could walk without falling. She started out using two canes to walk and regain her balance, but after six months, she was down to only using her white mobility cane.
Carrie is now working on reclaiming her life. Despite all of the physical challenges she had to endure, there was one area in her life that needed attention: her vision. Now that she can walk and talk again, Carrie is learning how to live as a person who is blind.

In August, Carrie began her training at our Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind. Although she had never heard of Bosma Enterprises, her low-vision doctor knew of the work Bosma did with people who were blind and recommended her to find out more. Carrie was hesitant at first to seek out services for her vision. She was still in denial, but her vision got worse last year, and she decided she needed help.

Carrie began to reach out to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) to inquire about obtaining services. VR was hesitant at first to admit her due to the number of health problems she had. However, Carrie was persistent and knew she deserves the chance to learn the skills and training to live with a visual impairment.

Once Carrie toured our rehabilitation center, she was ready to take advantage of all the services the Bosma Enterprises Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind had to offer. "I need this place right now," she commented.

Carrie is now learning about assistive technology and can use her android phone. "I did not know how to double-tap on my phone," Carrie said.

However, with the help and training she received from our rehab staff, she is now entering her own contacts, sending text messages and checking emails.

Adjustment counseling has also been beneficial for Carrie's self-esteem. She enjoys going to group sessions with other newly blinded people and sharing her experiences. These sessions are therapeutic and let her know she is not alone. Having the chance to share her story and the opportunity to hear stories from others, who have recently experienced vision loss, and how they were able to overcome the stereotypes and misperceptions when it comes to blindness.

Carrie is nearing the end of her rehabilitation and is now walking with her head up high. Despite all of the adversity, Carrie has dealt with over the past seven years. She knows her life is not over, and thanks Bosma for helping her reclaim her life. After she finishes her rehabilitation, Carrie plans on completing the renovations on her home and working on her land and going back to school to obtain her certifications and masters' in herbal medicine. If you know anyone dealing with vision loss, please contact us at www.bosma.org/Contact-Us