Anthony L Never Giving Up: Anthony Labin

Thank you to the staff and everybody here. You can tell that people love working here. Even the kids are happy and that says a lot given what’s going on. I’m glad we landed here.

“He already has asked when he can pitch again”

It was an ordinary day on the baseball field at Cooperstown Dreams Park in Cooperstown, New York for 12-year-old Anthony Labin, when the little league pitcher was struck in the head with a line drive. Anthony was knocked unconscious and airlifted from the field to a local hospital. Two days later, he underwent brain surgery to remove a part of his skull to help alleviate the pressure and swelling that was building up in his brain.

“Anthony spent a week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and once he was taken off the ventilator, he moved to a regular pediatric unit where he spent another week to recover from the surgery. We needed to ensure he was ready for transport,” explains Marijo Labin, Anthony’s mom and Ron Labin, Anthony’s dad. “He was transported via an ambulance to Children’s Specialized Hospital Inpatient Facility in New Brunswick where he spent five weeks.”

Inpatient Experience

Anthony Speech TherapyDuring Anthony’s time at Children’s Specialized Hospital’s (CSH) inpatient facility in New Brunswick, he saw multiple therapists several times a day. He regularly worked with Speech Language Pathologist, Erica Bissonnette, Occupational Therapist, Kristen Iannuzzi and Physical Therapist, Amanda Pacella. “They were all wonderful and fantastic,” states Marijo and Ron.

She explained that at this point in his recovery, “he needs speech therapy the most to regain his language, speech and communications.” Anthony has aphasia which impacts his ability to understand and speak. “He’s doing amazing,” cheerfully said Marijo and Ron. “He already has asked when he can pitch again.”

Anthony’s Occupational Therapist, Kristin added that “Anthony is the type of patient you love to have on your caseload. His work ethic and sense of humor made every session a pleasure.”

Anthony Labin, Ali Stroker Event“Children’s Specialized Hospital has been really great in letting us have some privacy for his recovery. Sleep was really important for him. The amazing nurses that we’ve seen all day and night have just been outstanding, helpful and were there for us whenever we needed them. While Anthony is pretty self-sufficient, they still regularly checked on him,” shared Marijo.

Anthony and his mom had the opportunity to attend a CSH’s inpatient event, where actress and singer, Ali Stroker shared encouraging words and read her new book, “Ali and the Sea Stars” to the inpatient kids and families. “I was blown away looking around the room and seeing all the young kids relating to Ali. Her and her father are really inspiration. I was glad that we were able to go,” said Marijo.

“Thank you to the staff and everybody here. You can tell that people love working here. Even the kids are happy and that says a lot given what’s going on. I’m glad we landed here,” added Marijo and Ron.

Anthony LabinThe Road to Recovery

When asked what Marijo and Ron’s greatest hopes are for Anthony, they shared that “we’re trying to take it one day at a time. Our greatest hope is that he recovers and continues to have an amazing life. He’s an active kid and we would love to see him get back to that.” Anthony said that he hopes to get back onto the baseball field, ride his bike, play backyard wiffle ball, read some new books and hangout with his friends in the near future.

Anthony’s Inpatient Speech Language Pathologist, Erica said “It’s that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, world series kind of work ethic and mentality that Anthony applied to each session and challenge that was presented to him. I am excited for all the progress he has made and will continue to make on his recovery journey. Continue to hit it out of the park, Anthony!”

After about five weeks of being hospitalized, Anthony is finally back home in Westfield, New Jersey where he was cheered on and welcomed home with open arms by the entire community. He’s enjoying being back with his parents, older brother, Nic and his furry best friend, Yogi.

Anthony Labin FamilyFor other families going through tough times, “my biggest advice is to just listen to the therapist and staff. Trust them. Trust everyone here who is trying to help and take any advice and guidance that they can give. Lean on friends and family and when they offer to help, take them up on it and do not be ashamed of that,” said Marijo.

As he continues his journey to recovery, Anthony started outpatient speech therapy twice a week in CSH’s Union location with Speech Language Pathologist, Kaitlyn Dunn. He’s been making great progress and working on naming and sound sequencing.

Anthony Labin