Rocco Casso, is an incredible husband, father and friend. On October 19, 2015 he suffered a stroke due to a blood clot in his basilar artery. Typically, the outcome for this type of stroke is either death or complete paralysis; however, Rocco has beaten those odds! Thanks so the extraordinary and fast efforts of the first responders and surgeons, Rocco should not be paralyzed at all, he has no damage to his vocal cords, and the overall brain damage is minimal. Due to the location of the blood clot, however, his stroke has resulted in a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). As a result of the TBI he suffers from PAID Syndrome, also known as sympathetic storming, which causes him to loose control and become extremely stiff for prolonged periods of time. The stiffness has caused him to sweat, spike high fevers and is very painful for him. It also lengthens the recovery and rehabilitation process
Currently, he cannot talk, aside from a couple of stray words, he is fed through a feeding tube, he cannot walk, and he cannot open his eyes. Even with all of these things against him, the progress Rocco continues to make every day is truly inspiring. He works very hard in his physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions and has even started swallowing some applesauce and pudding in his speech therapy. He is really trying to speak which is encouraging and he somehow he finds a way to communicate what he needs/wants. His personality also finds ways to shine through. He perks up when we talk about fishing or cooking. Even though he gets sad and frustrated at times, as anyone would in this situation, when we say to him, “You are going to get better. Are you going to keep fighting?” he nods his head yes.
Rocco’s Road to Recovery is not going to be an easy one, but we know he will get there. Unfortunately, since it will be a very long road the insurance company is trying to write him off as a custodial case, saying that the need to be in a rehab facility is not necessary. With his plan, he was supposed to be given until the end of April to stay at the sub-acute rehab facility, but the insurance company is already trying to stop funding. His doctors and therapists do not agree with this and and neither do we. We are going through every appeal process and legal action possible to get him the time he deserves; we are not taking this laying down. We know he has just scratched the surface of his recovery.
That being said, we are getting ourselves prepared for if and when Rocco is discharged, since we don’t know when that will be (hopefully at the end of April). We fully intend to create the best rehabilitation environment for him when he comes home. We will be getting a live in nurse as well as have therapists come to the house a few times a week to work with him and to teach us what to do when they aren’t there. Many friends and family have reached out to us and asked if there is anything they can do to help, so if you would like to contribute whatever you can towards his home nursing care and therapy sessions, we would appreciate that so much. You will be directly helping him get the care he needs to get back to the Rocco we all know and love.
No matter what, we are not giving up on him. Anyone that knows Rocco can attest that he is a fighter and a strong man with a zest for life and so much to live for. We are a strong family unit that won’t take no for an answer. We know what he is capable of and we know better than to underestimate him. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your love, support and prayers. It truly means the world to us! We know this will be a long road to his recovery, but we’re ready to go down that road with him.
Roslyn, Lisa, Michelle & Raquel