YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Yonkers teenager wasn’t letting a major medical setback stop her from voting Tuesday.
Amoon Khrisat Velazquez has been preparing for Election Day since April. That’s when she became old enough to vote.
“It’s so important because that’s the first thing you do when you turn 18, register to vote. Officially make yourself feel like an adult,” the teen told CBS2.
But what she wasn’t ready for was her second stroke. She had it just two weeks ago.
“I’m doing better than the first time I had a stroke which is when I was 11.”
Her medical condition left her in a wheel chair, and forced her to drop out of her first semester at Westchester Community College.
She was studying political science however, this setback isn’t stopping her from casting her vote.
“Someone who is facing the most incredible personal adversity, and yet, this is her top priority. She wants to be able to use her voice to vote,” Jessica Ritchie, an inpatient social worker at Blythedale Children’s Hospital said.
The Yonkers teenager has been receiving treatment at Blythedale and the staff knew how important this day was to her.
Her therapists used specialized technology to convert information on every candidate into readable text since she also has impaired vision.
“You name it and she read up on what their positions were and she circled the ones she wants so she is prepared going into this,” Ritchie said.
The staff also hired a handicap accessible van to get the teen to her polling place, which is 15 miles away.
Her mother, an immigrant from Mexico and legal citizen, helped her in the process.
“This is a responsibility that every American citizen has,” Lorena Khrisat-Velazquez said.
“No one can speak for you. You have to make your own choices, you want a change, you have to start acting.”
Amoon has about one more month of rehab left. She then plans on re-enrolling in college next semester.