"Visually" making a difference in Queena's life!

I am a teacher of students with visual disabilities for Hillsborough County Schools. Three years ago a new student was assigned to my caseload. I knew about this girl from the newspapers. Now, I had her reports and student file to review. As I read, it all seemed so sad and depressing. She was blind, had brain damage, and was physically impaired . . .
Today I accompanied that same young woman to her neuro-ophthalmology appointment with Dr. Drucker at USF. I cannot believe those reports described the same person I spent the afternoon with. She has improved in so many ways! Several years ago we first visited Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford who is an optometrist. In this initial visit Dr. Nathan slowly and carefully evaluated her visual functioning. During subsequent visits he prescribed glasses and continued to asses her visual functioning. Recently, he is noticing improvements in her use of her peripheral vision.
Her glasses were donated by Sara Bodie, optician, at Peal Vision in Brandon. Sara provided the most fashionable frames that a 20 year old could ever want! Sara also provided dark, but trendy of course, sunglasses because it is difficult for her eyes to adapt to bright sunlight.
Yes, I am talking about Queena and the description of that girl I read about never matched. From the day her I met her she was responsive, funny, and intelligent. The label “blind” never applied. She always used her residual vision effectively. As soon as anyone comes into a room she tracks them visually. She successfully combines her senses of hearing and vision to gather information about her world.
Vanna has been such an unbelievable role model. She has worked tirelessly to gather a team of therapists who are continuing to make a difference in Queena’s life. She may be small in stature but as a mother Vanna is HUGE! Anna has been such an effective voice for Queena in the community. Her eloquence and poise always amazes me. Thank you for continuing to allow me to be part of Team Q!
Elizabeth Underwood

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