Georgia college student left blind after tonsillectomy, still perseveres


(WSB/CNN) — A year ago, college student Sara Claudia Tillman walked on the campus of Berry College in Georgia.

This semester, however, she can’t see it.

Last May, Tillman had out patient surgery to have her tonsils removed. That night, her mom noticed her daughter was unresponsive and barely breathing and yelled for her husband.

“I got her breathing and kept yelling to get the ambulance there as quickly as possible,” said Sally Tillman.

Sara Claudia Tillman’s life was saved but gone was her eyesight.

The active 21-year-old had to learn how to do everything as a blind person — from mastering technology that speaks to help with her school work to walking with a cane.

Tillman says her faith in God has been everything. “He’s the reason I’m able to get over each roadblock I encounter. It’s definitely the reason I’ve had such a positive attitude about the whole thing.”

Sally Tillman said “if she weren’t strong, I don’t think I could handle it, but she helps me as a mom. You’re a mom. You just want to fix it.”

Rick Tillman, Sara’s father, knows a lot about eye sight. He’s an optometrist and he says, for some reason, his daughter may have experienced a lack of oxygen that affected the optic nerves.

hH’s already taken her for stem cell treatment in China.

“My lot in life is I will not stop until she sees,” he said.

In the meantime, Sara Claudia Tillman says she wants to finish college, get a master’s and a doctorate, then become a counselor to help others.

She says she’ll hopefully get her eyesight back and adds that her parents, brother and sister have been wonderful in helping her through these challenging months.

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