David Rosse came to Magee after sustaining a brain injury from a car accident. His speech therapist Melissa Katz spoke with him about his story.
Melissa Katz (MK): Tell us a little bit about yourself.
David Rosse (DR): My name is Dave. I live in Hopewell, NJ with my wife, Michele, and two sons, Max and Jack. I am a professional chef, and I like to do tasks around the house like cutting down trees. I have 11 acres of woods, so there are a lot of trees to be cut down! I also love sports and politics.
MK: What brought you to Magee?
DR: I got into a car accident and hit a telephone pole. I don’t remember that day. I was in a coma for about a week and a half and was totally discombobulated. I didn’t know the date or my own phone number.
MK: What was your first day of rehab like here at Magee?
DR: When I first came to Magee, I thought I could do things that I couldn’t do, like standing. I thought I knew everything. I was very restless and didn’t want to follow safety protocols. It was tough.
MK: What goals have you achieved?
DR: While at Magee, I participated in physical therapy with Erin. I learned how to stand, get up steps, and walk with a cane and crutch, since I can only use 50% of weight on my right leg. During speech therapy, we did pop thinking quizzes, and it also helped get me back to regular food. Now my memory is much better, although I still have some memory lapses. I did occupational therapy with Cassidy who helped me with a lot of life chores and every day skills, like folding clothes and cooking. To me, occupational therapy is like a combination of physical and speech therapy. I also did art therapy with Julie who helped me with painting and recreational therapy with Cassandra.
MK: What advice would you give to someone who has a brain injury?
DR: Be patient and listen to what the therapists, nurses, nursing assistants, and physicians tell you. They know what they’re doing. Put your ego aside. They give you a playbook to follow, and it works. Give 100% with everything you do. It goes a long way with getting better. Recovery doesn’t come fast, but one day it clicks. You are given a second chance.
To learn more about the Brain Injury Program at Magee, click here.
Photo: Dave takes steps outside Magee on an outing during therapy