Class teaches wood turning to the blind - FOX 13 News

Class teaches wood turning to the blind

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Out of loss comes an incredible story of inspiration. When all seemed hopeless, Andi Sullivan never gave up. Her story is "What's Right with Tampa Bay."

Her senses are everything to Andi Sullivan. Except the one everyone fears they will lose.

"You go from doing everything and being independent to not being able to go to the bathroom by yourself," she says.

Living in darkness -- three strokes left her blind. She was only 35, active, and a registered nurse at a local hospital.

"I have to have someone drive me wherever I need to go. Very life changing," she says.

But she is taking on the change with tenacity, not self-pity. Andi went back to school and learned a new skill. The art of wood-turning,with touch, sound, and instinct guiding her fine craftsmanship.

"It made me feel more independent," Andi said. "It made me feel like I could accomplish something."

With the spirit of an evangelist, Andy answered a calling.

"I thought that if I could do that for somebody else and pay it forward, than what better thing can you do in life," Andi said.

So she took her love of wood turning to Tampa's Lighthouse for the Blind. Here, she teaches the skill to others with moderate to severe vision loss.

"Just to be able to feel that they are not only learning things for their day-to-day needs, but they can also do something that's fun and creative and a little bit more challenging," said Chelsea Bridges of Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind.

In just three months, more than 40 students took on the challenge, including Melinda Keiffer, who recently lost her slight.

"I almost cried when I was done, because it is something that I never thought that I would never be able to do again." student Melinda Keiffer said.

Touching others when all seemed lost, and seeing the light beyond the darkness.

Andi hopes to take the class nationally. The program runs off donations.

LINK: Tampa's Lighthouse for the Blind

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