Skip Navigation

Adjusting to a New Reality

Bosma Enterprises - 5/11/2021 9:58:32 AM

Several years ago, Shere Jefferson began feeling extreme pressure on her eyes, causing her vision to be impaired. This change in her vision scared her, prompting her to see a doctor. What the doctor discovered would change her life forever.

Bosma Rehabilitation Services Ease People Back into Life

Shere Jefferson enjoyed her job at the hospital interacting, observing, and transporting patients to their medical appointments. However, Shere’s life was about to take a turn for the worse.

In 2019, Shere began feeling extreme pressure on her eyes. “It felt like my eyes were popping out of my head,” said Shere.

Driving was getting more and more challenging due to the pressure and reduced vision. This also affected her at work, where she found herself wheeling patients into walls.

Knowing something was not right, Shere made an appointment to see an optometrist. Unfortunately, the doctor was not able to give her the answers she needed and she left the appointment without a solution.

One day, while wheeling a patient through the hospital, Shere passed out and woke up in the ICU. “I went to work as an employee, and woke up as a patient,” said Shere.

Once emergency room doctors were able to review the situation, they discovered fluid on her brain and a massive tumor growing on top of her optic nerve. Her vision became increasingly impaired as the tumor continued to grow. 

The surgeons began draining the fluid immediately, inserting a tube in her skull and stomach to help relieve the pressure caused by the tumor.

The operation was only a partial success. Her doctors were able to drain the fluids and remove the tumor, but Shere was still visually impaired. The devasting news meant that Shere could not drive and wouldn’t be able to return to work and support herself. 

“How will I live as a person who is blind”, Shere thought? “How will I get back and forth since I can no longer drive?” These questions kept her up at night.

Shere’s concerns kept piling up. With no way to pay her rent, she lost her home and had to move in with her boyfriend. 

Knowing she needed to find solutions, Shere began researching organizations that could assist. That is when she found Bosma Enterprises. With the help of Bosma, Shere was able to stay in a hotel for two weeks until she found a place of her own.

Once in her home, Shere found that routine tasks like cooking, had become much more difficult. She burned herself trying to remove food out of the oven.  Thankfully, Bosma was able to provide in-home rehabilitation to help her live safely and independently. With the help of Mary D'Apice, her community-based instructor, Shere was able to adjust to her new reality. Bosma taught her basic living skills and adaptive technology like the Eschenbach video magnifier to help her read labels and adjust her thermostat. Shere was excited to learn how to use this tool, regaining a little of the freedom and independence she had lost.

 “As an Itinerant Rehabilitation teacher (IRT), I can say that the video magnifiers have had a dramatic impact on clients' ability to remain independent,” said Mary D’Apice,. Visually impaired people also use these magnifiers to read medication labels, so they can take care of their own health and safety. With a 70% unemployment rate among people who are blind, many in this community would not be able to afford a video magnifier. Thankfully, we have generous patrons who ensure we can continue to enhance the lives of people who are blind. Their support helps Bosma serve thousands of Hoosiers living with vision loss. Shere is grateful for the support and encouragement that Bosma has given her during these challenging times.  Although she is still adjusting to her vision loss, she believes her life is not over and is currently pursuing Vocational Rehabilitation services. She will be ready to go back to work soon. 

If you or someone you know is living with vision loss and wish to regain your independence - please contact us at www.bosma.org or call us at 1-888-567-3422 to see how we can help.