Toddler needs help overcoming brain injury

Toddler needs help overcoming brain injury

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Rob Marianetti is raising money to help fund his daughter Kayla’s care. Photo by Elana Glowatz

A local church is hosting a fundraising event to benefit a little girl who is seriously impaired after almost drowning in a bathtub at 17 months old.

Rob Marianetti is raising money to help fund his daughter Kayla’s care. Above, Kayla before her bathtime accident. Photo from Rob Marianetti
Rob Marianetti is raising money to help fund his daughter Kayla’s care. Above, Kayla before her bathtime accident. Photo from Rob Marianetti

Although Kayla Marianetti was found floating and unresponsive, doctors revived her. However, the Port Jefferson Station toddler was left with a brain injury. She needs multiple therapy appointments each day, including hyperbaric therapy, which involves putting her in an oxygen-rich environment; physical therapy, to move her toward sitting up, standing and walking; vision therapy, as neurological issues have made her legally blind, even though her eyes themselves are fine; and speech therapy, which is used both to teach her to communicate and to eat on her own.

Her father Rob, who works for Setauket-based Hurricane Tree Experts, has seen improvement in her function but needs help to fund the girl’s expensive treatments.

The theatrical fundraiser, for ages 15 and older, at the St. James R.C. Church in Setauket will be held on June 10. In addition to the performance “The Class of Life,” which starts at 7 p.m., there will be refreshments, a Chinese auction and a raffle. The father and daughter will be present. Contact Tabitha Chabalik for reservations, at 631-671-8206 or [email protected]. Tickets are $40. People can also contribute to Kayla’s recovery on her fundraising page.

Rob Marianetti has previously said his goal is to have Kayla at least be able to walk, talk, eat and see on her own.

“I’m not leaving her like this,” Marianetti said last year. “I’m going until either she gets better or I die.”