HENDERSONVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — A Hendersonville woman spent her first night in her own home on Wednesday after living in a nursing home for three and a half years.
34-year-old Karen Landert lost her eyesight from a brain tumor and has been fighting for the last several years for her independence.
On Wednesday morning, Landert stepped foot in her new apartment for the very first time.
“I’m nervous as a cat, a long tail cat in a room full of rockers,” she said as she was getting out of the car.
Her team of people who helped her get here cheered her on as she walked up to her front doorstep.
“I remember for one of my birthdays my present was her drinking out of a straw,” said Patsy Messer, Landert’s mom. “I never thought I would see this day.”
Landert didn’t get to see her family that much during the pandemic. However, that didn’t stop her.
“I made it in. I’m home,” she said while walking into her apartment.
In 2017, Landert found out she had a brain tumor on her optical nerve.
“I had just gotten promoted to lab analyst and things coming up roses for a little while, and then I started having a hard time seeing and if nothing else just memory blackouts,” she said.
By December of 2017 she got moved into Blue Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center.
“She had no hair on this side of her head and she had a shunt in her head and you couldn’t even get out of bed at first,” said one of the people on Landert’s team.
Up until last year, Landert said things were going OK.
“Literally, it’s like you’re doing so well, we’re going to do this up COVID-19 kind of deal,” she said.
Landert could only communicate with her mom through her Amazon Echo. She also got COVID-19 around Thanksgiving.
“That was the roughest six weeks of my life,” she said.
She said the hardest part of all this has been the wait since she found out in March she would finally be getting her own place.
“It’s been like, is it coming? Is it here? Nope, still got more days to go,” she said.
Her mom said she is so proud of her daughter.
“We had a few mama talks,” Messer said talking about how she motivated Landert along the way. Landert said she’s not stopping now.
“I can’t excuse myself for the next 35 years or more and do nothing,” she continued, “Now that I’ve got that life, I need to live it.”
Landert said she’s considering becoming a patient advocate. She’s also thinking about going back to school.
Landert says: you are your last great resource.
“People can mechanically set up machines, life support and make you exist, but only you can live,” she said.
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