Inspired against all odds
A young student from Brazil who was robbed of his eyesight after he was hit by a stray bullet is this week's Inspiring Albertan.
Jose Neto moved to Calgary from Brazil to further his education.
His life was forever altered one evening in 2008 when he struck in the head by a stray bullet while out for a walk with his girlfriend in the downtown.
That bullet left Neto blind and after it happened he wanted to get far away from Calgary.
Four years later and he now calls Calgary home.
“The support that the people gave to me it was really, really special so that's why we decided to stay,” said Neto.
Holly Preston was touched by Neto’s story and reached out to help.
She drove her new friend to appointments and raised his spirits when she could but she says it's Neto who inspires her.
“He is gentle, and sweet and funny and determined and just a completely lovely young man who has accepted what has happened,” said Preston.
Neto has recently acquired another new friend, his guide dog Leo.
He is also now enrolled in the M.H. Vicars School of Massage Therapy and his instructors are impressed by the way he meets new challenges.
“It seems really scary, the idea that you're learning something that you can't visualize and can't see. so who knows what his pictures look like in his mind, but time and time again in all the exams he's proven that he knows his stuff.,’ said Message Instructor, Sarah Ward.
“They’ve heard why he's here and to see him excel at what he does and to do massage, he's definitely an inspiration to the other students and to the clients. uh, we've had a few clients say that you wouldn't know he's blind,” said Dan Hvingelby, Massage Instructor.
Neto has an amazing attitude about what happened and says the whole thing has made him a better person.
“It seems to me that I’ve grown ten years since my accident. My attitudes, people I’ve met, people I’ve been learning with. I have more ears to listen what they're saying,” said Neto.
For taking a devastating situation and turning it into a positive example for others, Jose Neto is our Inspiring Albertan.