IMPACT
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Palita Gbalajobi Fights Through Injury To Work

Palita Gbalajobi emigrated to the Untied States from Jamaica 11 years ago. Things were looking up, but a series of misfortunes left her injured and nearly blind. As part of The New York Times' series on "The Neediest Cases," Gbalajobi tells how she continues to work to be self-sufficient at age 70 despite her hardships.

From The New York Times:

more than anything, she wants to return to work. Though she is past the usual retirement age, she needs two more years of paychecks to qualify for Social Security. If she could get a job and hang on until then, "it would suit me to go home," she said. In Jamaica, her money would go further.

"I would retire," she added. "But I can't go now."

She was working as a home health attendant until November 2008, when a physical setback forced her to take some time off. Subsequently, she failed a physical exam, which meant that continuing in a job like that was no longer an option, at least for a time, she said.

Despite her frequent trips to the hospital, Gbalajobi wants to keep working and avoid moving into a homeless shelter.