Warrior of life
By Javier Machado
“To start studying at an early age is normal for a person, but to make amends for life and start everything again at 52 years of their own free will, says a lot about someone who, with effort, does not want to be charged by anyone, not even the U.S. government”.
José Marcos Romero Tapia, left Mexico at 21 years of age, in search of new horizons. He crossed the North American border and settled in the city of Houston to work in the construction, and in that way to help his family that had been in his native Michoacán. A year later he moved to Jacksonville.
In 1984 he married a North American citizen, after two years he returned to his country of origin with the purpose of ordering his immigration status in the United States. Upon ascertaining the living conditions of his family, he decided to bring with him his mother, 5 brothers, a sister-in-law and a nephew.
Throughout his life, Romero, worked in construction without rest until in 2010, the industry fell precipitously. In Indiana, he got part-time work in a factory for electronic components for mobile homes, known as RVs. It was in 2013 when he visited the eye doctor for the first time, after feeling headaches and blurred vision. The doctor informed him that he would be blind, but he did not believe him, because his goal was to work to support the family, and he did not have the financial resources to pay for medical consultations.
When he could no longer see the parts of the electronic components on the computer, he resigned from work. At the Indiana hospital, they could not recover his vision. “It was very sad to receive the news, everything was very fast, I felt a huge pain in my head as if my eyes wanted to get out of their sockets.” The doctors decided to have surgery to graft a shant on my back, a device that prevents the fluid get to my brain, taking it directly to the kidneys to be evacuated “explains Romero.
After being completely blind in May 2014, he returned to Jacksonville where most of his family resides.
What science says
The ‘aqueous humor’ is a transparent liquid that nourishes and oxygenates the lens of the eye and the cornea. When there is an imbalance in its production or elimination, the intraocular pressure or IOP, makes the optic nerve pressure, increasing the risk of having vision difficulties and important risk for the suffering of glaucoma.
Glaucoma, known as “the silent thief of vision” is a degenerative visual pathology, caused by an irreparable injury to the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting to the brain the information received in the retina. Most people who suffer from the disease are not aware of suffering until the first manifestations of visual problems, which will be, irreversible.
Determined to have independent life.
Dedicated all his life to work, now unable to do so, he prepared to face a new challenge; use time for something useful. “I decided to start studying, I enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program at the Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ). When I finished the ESOL program, I registered the General Education Development (GED) course. until I passed the exams in May 2017, it was then that counselor Daniel O’Connor played a very important role in the next step he had to take: enrolling in the Division Blind Services (DBS) of Daytona Beach, to study Life Independent”; underlines
In the DBS under a strong ‘regulation’, the interns receive classes of the reading system for blind Braille, of kitchen, preparation the clothes and bed, orientation and training of mobility using only the cane, preparation for the employments and of skills in the computer.
New efforts of José Marcos
Divorced and with three children, Romero plans to conclude at the DBS for next April, to return to the FSCJ with the aim of studying teaching and translation. As a Spanish teacher, he wants to help many people who can not speak English, especially Hispanics, so they can move forward in this country.