Blind refugee hit by car in critical condition

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A blind man remained in critical condition Thursday night after being hit by a car while he was walking along a Wyoming road Wednesday night.

Osmon Koroma, 24, had a guide dog with him at the time of the crash on Division Avenue near 56th Street SW. The dog died on the scene.

Koroma, who was not born blind, grew up in war-torn Liberia in Africa. He was exposed to terrible sights.

When Koroma was only about 7 years old, one of the refuge camps he and his family was staying at was raided. He, his sister and his father were forced to run. His mother was not there at the time of the raid.

“This raid happened and they just had to pick up and go and they never found her,” said Bobby Roush, a friend of Koroma’s.

By age 14, Koroma had lost all of his vision.

He, his sister and dad Adam were able to get out of Liberia and come to America. They were sponsored by the First United Methodist Church in Hastings.

“I remember meeting them at the airport and there were several of us that went up and meet them. I remember them coming down the runway and Adam had a hold of Osmon’s arm because, of course, he was blind and couldn’t see where he was going,” Roush remembered.

Once Koroma became comfortable in America and at his new school in Hastings, he quickly shed his shyness and got involved. Koroma began singing in the choir, throwing discus on the track team and wrestling.

He graduated from Hastings High School in 2010.

“Everybody just always commented on his smile. That is the first thing you would notice about him. He had this smile that would just light up a room,” said friend Colleen Acker.

And now a young man who has faced so much adversity is once again fighting to overcome the odds.

“We got a lot of prayers going for him. A lot of people praying for him. And I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. We are asking the Lord to let him be whole, let him be well,” said Roush.

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