KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Many would consider it an eye-opening surgery. But to 27-year-old Bernadine Pickering, lasik surgery is much more than that.
Bernadine is a quadrapelegic. Just over a year ago, she went to the hospital with chest pains and burning. What started as pneumonia, turned into Septic Shock. Bernadine slipped into a six-week coma. Because Septic Shock causes your organs to shut down, the blood from Bernadine's hands and feet started rushing to her heart to keep it beating. The lack of blood in her extremities resulted in gangrine. Months after Bernadine woke up, she was finally stable and healthy enough to have her feet and hands amputated.
In April of 2010, Bernadine started coming to the Rehabilitation Institute in Kansas City. It was there that she learned how to take her first steps.
When she's home, Bernadine says her four-year-old daughter, Ananda, keeps her going.
"She doesn't look at me any different and I'm not going to disappoint her. I'm gonna let her know that stuff happens in life but you can make it through it. It just depends if you want to. Nothing is stopping you but you, " she said.
It takes Bernadine five to 10 minutes to put her glasses on and take them off. It takes her about an hour-and-a-half to put her prosthetics on. The young woman says the lasik surgery will make her life just a little easier.
But Bernadine couldn't have done it without Durrie Vision. The doctor's office is footing the $4,500 bill. It's all part of Durrie Vision's, "Focus on Independence" program which helps quadrapelegics, like Bernadine.
And soon after, Bernadine will also get a new pair of prosthetic legs. They are three pounds instead of six pounds each. She will also get a new left arm.
Bernadine says won't let herself dwell in "why me?" Instead, she focuses on what she's going to do with her life. "Failure isn't an option," she says.
Bernadine plans to go back to school in June to major in Rehabilitation Consulting.