The Marty Lyons Foundation was among a group of donors who helped make a dream come true for Selden resident Andrew Rosa.
The foundation, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children who have been diagnosed with terminal or life-threatening illness, together with mother and son Eileen Valenti and Blake Burgan of Sachem and sisters Dawn and Kim Roesch of the Roesch Law firm in East Meadow, raised money to purchase a Quadriciser rehabilitation chair to assist in Rosa’s recovery.
Now 22 years old, Rosa was a college-bound teenager, junior firefighter, BMX biker and snowboarder. In 2010, he was struck by a car while he was riding his bike. The force of the impact left him in a coma for months while he fought for his life. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and became physically disabled, unable to walk or speak.
In 2013, Rosa’s mother JoAnn applied to the Marty Lyons Foundation for a wish for her son. While he was immediately approved for a wish, he and his family were not quite sure what would be the most appropriate wish. When Rosa’s occupational therapist discussed the great benefits of the Quadriciser with his family, it became quite evident that this was his wish.
“The goal is for Andrew to use the Quadriciser in the home setting on a regular basis to improve his physical capabilities,” his mother said. “It is our hope that he will eventually be able to stand and perhaps take a few steps on his own.”
Currently, Rosa requires 24/7 nursing care, while receiving lots of love and support from his friends and family. He is showing signs of regaining brain function as a result of the intense therapy he receives in his home.
Because this miraculous piece of equipment was way beyond the financial parameters of the organization’s guidelines, others became involved to provide outside fundraising to help Rosa. Through the efforts of the foundation’s wish coordinators, Terri Fudens and John Gordon, multiple donors generously contributed to the purchase of the Quadriciser, including a GoFundMe page set up by the Burgans, and a generous donation from the Roesch Law firm.
“Andrew’s wish took four years to complete,” Fudens said. “But it was well worth the effort.”
The Quadriciser Rosa received stimulates the brain and simultaneously encourages muscle memory in the extremities which later results in neurological connections and advancements.
The equipment lets a patient move his or her arms and legs in patterns that closely simulate walking and crawling. For the first time in years Rosa’s arms and legs can move simultaneously.