Fremantle: Rocco’s journey to recovery

Rocco Turazza (14) had a stroke at the age of 8 and became a rehab patient with Rocky Bay following his time in hospital. He has now had a massive recovery.
Rocco Turazza (14) had a stroke at the age of 8 and became a rehab patient with Rocky Bay following his time in hospital. He has now had a massive recovery.

Rocco Turazza is a normal a teenager-he is always hungry, hangs out with his friends and wants to play footy.

Yet the 14-year-old has had an anything but typical experience growing up.

When Rocco was eight years old he suffered a stroke, which left him in hospital for eight months including two months in ICU.

Rocco said he doesn’t really remember much of what happened during that time.

“I do remember for a period of time where I couldn’t see very well and I could not talk,” he said.

“I had to learn how to talk again, how to walk, that took a long time but I got there in the end.”

He was also artificially fed until last year but can now enjoy eating with his family.

The John Curtin College of the Arts student said he used to need an adult to walk him around at school.

“It was the hardest having an adult around with me at all time,” he said.

“Now I can go to Freo and catch a bus with my friends.”

The Beaconsfield resident said he never thought recovery would take this long.

“I never gave up though,” he said,

“I have a goal I want to play footy, at my school people always have a football with them and after school they have matches, I might as well give it a try.”

As for advice he would give anyone facing a similar situation, he said never give up, it’s as simple as that.

Rocky Bay’s Senior Physiotherapist, Zhao Teoh said Rocco had surprised everyone with his determination.

“First achieving independent walking indoor and outdoor, and most recently being able to run,” he said.

“This has of course come with lots of hard work and sacrifice, including attending physiotherapy during school holidays and often many after school sessions.

“He has possessed such a positive energy and sense of humour throughout the rehab process and his achievements are well-deserved.”