Three years ago this month her world was turned upside down. Julie Dombo was at a Derby phone store when a robber walked in.
She tried to run but was shot multiple times. Due to complications, Dombo’s hands and feet had to be amputated. Thanks to a generous donor, Dombo has a set of bionic hands that are helping her lead a more normal life.
Now, she is even driving. She says it gives her a sense of independence, but it doesn’t come without some bumps in the road.
Dombo, one arm in her device, the other fast on the wheel, is on the road.
“I am still pretty new at it,” she says. “Especially with a lot of traffic.”
But for the most part you couldn’t even tell.
“Nobody has really honked at me,” she adds.
For more than four miles on Rock Road, Dombo took KSN’s John Asebes for a ride around town always aware of course.
It’s taken her nearly a year to feel this good about driving. Dombo doesn’t usually drive for more than half an hour, but if she had to, she could.
“I have passed cars,” she says. “I don’t really like to, and I don’t want to.”
Driving with no real feet and no hands takes confidence and practice.
“Sometimes I have to venture out and do a few things on my own,” Dombo explains.
Something that was a bit shaken two weeks ago when her foot got caught and she was unable to stop before hitting a handicap pole while parking at the gym.
“Scared the hell out of me,” she says. “My heart was pounding.”
But fear is just one more car to pass for Dombo.
“No limits,” she says.
The more Dombo does every day for herself, the more limits she overcomes, she feels she is giving others a hope who are disabled.
“I just want to inspire them to take a look at me and think, dang, she doesn’t have any hands and feet, and if she can do that then who am I to complain.”