“When I woke up from the coma, the doctors told me I had lost almost all of my vision.”
– Melinda Slovernick

A photo of Melinda (left), her husband Tracy (center), and daughter Adrianna (right) on holiday vacation

A photo of Melinda (left), her husband Tracy (center), and daughter Adrianna (right) on holiday vacation

“On May 17th, 2002, my life changed forever,” Melinda reminisces. “While I was driving to pick up my daughter from daycare, I was rear-ended and slammed into the vehicle in front of me. The airbag deployed and crushed my head.”

Melinda was in a coma for three months.

Born and raised in Hamilton, Montana, Melinda got her degree in Business and Business Science from the University of Montana in 1994. After finishing her degree she gave birth to her beautiful daughter Adrianna. The first six months of Adrianna’s life weren’t easy. Born premature, she weighed one pound and three ounces. Melinda and Adrianna moved to Seattle to get the best care possible. As a single mom working full-time Melinda had her hands full, but Adrianna was her inspiration every day and grew up to be an amazing and strong little girl.

“When I woke up from the coma in August of 2002, the doctors told me I had lost all vision in my left eye and my right eye was severely injured. I was lucky to be alive but my vision was almost entirely gone.”

Melinda began the journey of navigating her new world.

A photo of Melinda walking her guide dog, Leonardo

A photo of Melinda walking her guide dog, Leonardo

Through a series of events and conversations with people she met, Melinda found her way to The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. in Seattle.

“When I first heard about all the opportunities for work and support, I couldn’t believe it! Orientation and mobility, computer training programs, opportunities for upward mobility and professional growth, assistive technology, braille literacy… everything I could possibly need to thrive and excel was right there!”

Through a lot of hard work and persistence Melinda has broken down barriers and overcome obstacles.

“Without these challenges I would not be the person I am today” says Melinda. She continues to develop new skills and has recently stepped into a new role in the Lighthouse Contact Center as a Contact Center Representative.

In May 2013, Melinda met her now husband, Tracy, at a Seattle Mariners game. They have been happily married for three years.

“I hope no one ever feels sorry for me when they hear my story. With the Lighthouse I am still doing everything I want to do and have more opportunities to inspire and motivate others. This place has changed my life.”


The impact you can have is greater than you might think. Together we can break down barriers to employment by providing more jobs for people like Melinda, who are impacted by your support daily.

Melinda and her guide dog Leonardo

Melinda and her guide dog Leonardo

Give the gift of independence and empowerment today and help the Lighthouse build towards the next 100 years!

I want to make a difference by providing:

  • $100 for training materials needed for one employee to learn and practice braille literacy.
  • $500 to allow the Lighthouse’s accessible technology team to create their very own refreshable braille monitors that can be attached to machining equipment or computers giving access to blind and DeafBlind employees.
  • Any amount to provide as much support and training as possible for individuals who are blind, DeafBlind, and blind with other disabilities!

Please make a donation to send a gift of independence! To put your gift to work even faster you can make a donation online at www.thelighthousefortheblindinc.org or contact Molly McLachlan at (206) 436-2253 or mmclachlan@seattlelh.org.