Client Name: Anthony G
Hometown: Chester, NY
Injury Date: 02/24/06
Injury: Traumatic Brain Injury
Start Date: 04/30/12
Anthony’s story as told by his mother, Jackie.
By age 25 Anthony had chosen an interesting career path and was working as a commercial diver. At the time he loved quads, the Yankees, cars, and food. On February 24, 2006, he was on a job and not being monitored properly when his air was accidently shut off. Anthony realized what was happening and managed to break the surface of the water, but was without air for 10-15 minutes. He immediately went into cardiac arrest. He was taken from the job site to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ where he stayed for three weeks before being transferred to Helen Hayes Hospital. While at Helen Hayes Hospital he remained in a coma for five months.
Once Anthony came out of the coma he went to Kessler Institute. After ten months of inpatient therapy, he continued with outpatient therapy at Kessler. Anthony was always smiling and determined at Kessler, but if there was no progress after 6-8 weeks he would be sent home for a couple of months and then return for more treatment at a later date. Jackie, Anthony’s mother, believes that Kessler really helped her son. She also believes they got through this difficult time with the help of family members and lots of prayers.
Anthony and his family found Push to Walk when their case manager, Debbie, was searching for a personal trainer for him. Anthony attends workouts three times a week for an hour each. Jackie likes the idea of Anthony getting out of the house for his workouts because he also has physical therapy twice a week in home. While at Push to Walk he works on his legs, arms, and walking. Jackie says “he is certainly pushing to walk!” Since starting at Push to Walk he has gotten stronger, has more endurance, and transferring has become much easier.
In addition to Push to Walk Anthony had 23 hyperbaric chamber sessions and is going to do a total of 40, which gives him one full hour of oxygen. He has speech, physical, and occupational therapy at home through an agency and has also been doing biofeedback for two years. During biofeedback they place EEG probes on Anthony and have him control lines making them go up and down with his thoughts. Previously, he was not talking or sleeping, but biofeedback has really helped him. It helps focus and train different sections of the brain at a time. In 2009, the Guarascio Family had a fully accessible house built, which includes a full gym to help Anthony on his road to recovery.
Since his injury, Anthony’s life has changed dramatically. It has been like starting all over with no free time. His focus is on his therapies and workouts. “We are all determined to have him live the best life possible,” says Jackie.