On Disabled Awareness Day, Jorge Acevedo told fellow students on campus his life experience as a disabled student and how his life changed, after he was given up for dead on.
Before the speech, tips were given on how to help disabled people.
Some of these tips include: always ask them before helping, if a person who is blind needs to be guided, offer an arm — don’t take theirs, don’t make decisions for people with disabilities about what they can or can’t do, speak directly to a person with a disability not to his/her companion or sign language interpreter, don’t ask a wheelchair user to hold things for you and respect their personal space.
Acevedo also mentioned that students should not be afraid to talk to disabled people in general. “We are very nice and willing to answer any questions the public would want to know,” he said.
It will be 10 years this Christmas since Acevedo was a victim of a gang related burglary gone wrong.
He was on his way home from a Christmas exchange party when he was at a stop sign near Sippers Park in Los Angeles.
All Acevedo can remember is that it was 11:30 p.m. when he woke up from his coma.
Acevedo had been shot twice in his upper left thigh, and once on the back of his left side of his brain.
Acevedo had been in and out of many hospitals. The first hospital he was in was the County USC hospital.
From there he went to Barlo Respiratory hospital. He was also on life support, in which after a while the doctors wanted to take him off of it.
Acevedo somehow survived, and when he went off life support, he began intesive physical rehabilitation.
It was not until he was in Memorial Hospital that Acevedo said, “Damn, something is wrong with me.” This is when Acevedo started to lift weights.
At his fourth hospital, Pomona Casa Colina, Acevedo said, “I was only allowed to go home Saturdays and Sundays; I was living there most of the time.”
After working on his physical fitness for a while, Acevedo realized that being the oldest of four brothers, he was the only one who could take care of his family.
Acevedo never gave up because he always kept in mind that he was the bread winner in his family.
Coming home was a different experience for him. According to Acevedo, “Everything is different [in my home].”
His home does not accommodate to his needs. That is why he spends little time at home nowadays.
Doctors are afraid to remove the bullet that still remains in his brain because they are not sure if it will be a successful surgery.
“I sometimes feel the bullet move a little here and there,” Acevedo said.
Despite his hardships, Acevedo continues to live on and is willing to help his community in any way he can.