Paralyzed as a child, North Carolina woman helps the blind read


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/MEDIA GENERAL) – A childhood accident that left a North Carolina woman paralyzed never stripped her of her will to be active and help others. Heather McYoung inspires those around her to give back in any way they can.

At the North Carolina Library for the Blind, thousands of digital book recordings go out to members and then come back in.

“To me they’re a source of entertainment, they take me to different places I wouldn’t be able to go to,” McYoung said about the book recordings.

Just like anyone who enjoys getting lost in a good book, these audio books open up a new world to those who are blind or are visually impaired.

Sorting them to make sure the covers and content inside match up is detailed work. But, it has to get done.

The center relies heavily on volunteers. The work may seem mundane, but for the volunteers it’s a chance to build friendships.

“She is always happy to see everybody and we’re always happy to see her,” volunteer Sheena Lewis said of McYoung.

McYoung has volunteered at the Library for the Blind for 10 years. It’s a service she uses herself and she knows the benefits.

She told CBS North Carolina in Raleigh helping out makes her feel “awesome” because she knows how important it is for people to be able to read on their own.

It’s meaningful work that brings joy to the 12,000 patrons who use the service. And, joy to the circle of friends its created along the way among the volunteers.

“They mean the world to me,” said McYoung. “Because if I didn’t have those relationships with my friends here, I do not know what I’d be doing.”This story was originally published by

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