Annie Sullivan: The Miracle Worker
If mentioned alone, the name Annie Sullivan might not bring about any knowledge of the individual. It is then when the infamous Helen Keller is referred to that people are able to place Sullivan in history. Annie Sullivan's life story is ultimate proof of how someone can start in the worst of situations and end up completely fulfilled. Sullivan began her life with little family and ended her life blessed with an abundance of meaningful relationships, most noteworthy being her lifelong companionship with Helen Keller.
When a little girl named Helen Keller was diagnosed as blind and deaf after suffering from meningitis, her family was desperate for help. Many said the only choice was to send young Keller to an institution. At that time, institutions were horribly kept and usually held little hope for a cure or even help for the inhabitants. By the time she was six years old she had grown difficult to deal with, often throwing tantrums multiple times a day.
They turned to Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone and teacher of the deaf, who directed Captain Keller to the institute his son-in-law directed, the Perkins Institute for the Deaf and Blind. (Keller, p. 35, 1961) Through talk with the Perkins Institute, it was decided that Annie Sullivan would travel from Boston to the Keller's plantation in Tuscumbia, Alabama to work as a live in tutor for Helen. At the time, Sullivan was twenty-one and a recent graduate of the Perkins Institute for the Deaf and Blind, where she earned her spot as valedictorian of her class in 1886.
Miss Sullivan was christened under the name Johanna Sullivan. She was also called Anne or Annie. She was born in 1866 in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. (Keller, p. 21, 1961)...