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Blind Student Survives Terrorist Attack & Graduates from American Massage and Bodywork Institute (AMBI) in Vienna Virginia

Angelica Rios grew up in Peru. At age 27, she was riding a public bus with two of her children (her 1-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter) when a bomb exploded at a local police station. The bus was severely damaged, and her son died in her arms.

Because of the terrorist attack, Angelica lost severe amounts of blood, and she lost her vision completely. After the attack, she had more than 360 stitches in her face and she needed additional reconstructive surgery. Due to the medical limitations in Peru, Angelica and her family traveled to the United States in 1993 to consult a top vision doctor in Miami, Florida. Unfortunately, doctors in Florida were unable to help Angelica’s visual impairment.

Determined to find help, Angelica then traveled to Virginia and went to Johns Hopkins University for further evaluation. The doctors at Johns Hopkins removed one of her eyes, but still left her blind. In 1994, Angelica applied for political asylum, and was granted her US residency. Five years later, Angelica was granted her US citizenship. In 1996, Angelica welcomed a son. For the last 20 years, Angelica raised her family, was an active member in her church, took English classes—and all the while longed for a career where she could display her independence.

In 2016, Angelica contacted the American Massage & Bodywork Institute (AMBI) in Vienna, Virginia. She met with the President of the school, Scott Deidun. Scott immediately contacted the Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI).

In August of 2016, Angelica began the massage program at AMBI. Despite her challenges, Anglica approached her classes with enthusiasm and completed her assignments with great care. On March 17, 2017, Angelica will graduate, on-time with her classmates. Angelica credits her instructors for her success, especially Dr. Katherine Dudero, the Director of Education with AMBI—one of Angelica’s instructors who tutored her throughout the program.

After graduation, Angelica will take her state licensing examination (administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards) and will apply for her massage license through the Virginia Board of Nursing. She already has an employer interested in bringing her on board upon licensure. Angelica has been such a blessing for the American Massage and Bodywork Institute staff. Both the faculty AMBI and her fellow students are incredibly proud of her, and all the graduates from our massage therapy program.

About American Massage and Bodywork Institute (AMBI):

American Massage and Bodywork Institute (AMBI) is a top rated massage therapy school located in Vienna, Virginia. We provide an elite education in massage therapy and the healing power of touch. Located just outside Washington DC, we provide a 7 month program to become a licensed massage therapist for students in the Northern Virginia area.

To learn more about the American Massage and Bodywork Institute (AMBI), please visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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