Blind Employee Overcomes Odds to Succeed
August 25, 2009
- Blind Employee Overcomes Odds to Succeed
FORT LEE, Va. (July 30, 2009) - With 32 years at Fort Lee, the first five sighted and last 27 blind, Sherry Kidd is still very grateful for her life and lives it to the fullest.
She said she woke up screaming one day with really bad headaches and brain swelling. Before Kidd knew anything, she had died three times and was resuscitated twice. The third time she died, she resuscitated miraculously on her own. She slipped into a coma for six months and awoke totally blind and completely paralyzed.
"They told my family that I had no chance to survive, because all of my body functions were shutting down," Kidd said. "They told my family that I was not going to make it."
But she did make it. She regained the use of her limbs, but never her sight. She said she went through a period of grieving, disbelief and having to learn everything all over again.
"It's amazing the simple things we take for granted like cooking for yourself, cleaning and putting on makeup," Kidd said.
Today, Kidd has learned to be self-sufficient and thrives as well as sighted people as one of two Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combined Arms Support Command Family Readiness Group specialists.
"My computer has a speech program where it reads things to me line-for-line," she said. "I still get to do a lot of the things that I used to do, just in a different way. Then there are things I can't do like drive."
Change for anyone can be intimidating, but "change for a blind person can be especially intimidating," she said. "Not only did I have to come to a new job, but I had to come to a new job, learn a new tasking and learn a new four story building (the Sustainment Center of Excellence)."
Prior to working as the HHC CASCOM FRG specialist, Kidd worked with the Quartermaster Center and School's general hotline and worked with Equal Employment Opportunity.
"I worked with the EEO arena for 15 plus years. The most challenging thing about EEO is knowing that people with targeted disabilities (blindness, deafness) are the most under represented people in the Federal workforce," she said. "If everyone were blind, they could judge people based on what they are, not what they appear to be."
During her free time away from work, Kidd said she enjoys going sailing out on Lake Chesdin with her husband.
"We love the water. I am very much a water person," Kidd said. She said she also enjoys spending time with her son who is an oral surgeon.
"I love life," Kidd said. "The Lord has blessed me in so many ways. I have an awesome family, awesome friends, and an awesome job. I love working closer to Soldiers. All of the people in HHC are a fun and hard-working group and have been very accepting and helpful. Here at HHC I feel like I make a difference and that I really am part of a team. I am so blessed in so many ways."