Farmingdale, L.I.—Nicholas Rosario was born with severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen at birth.
His father says he didn't walk or talk and that doctors believed he didn't really understand.
But he smiled and his smile was priceless.
While doctors told Nicholas’s parents he may only live to ten years old, he defied the odds and lived three more years before passing away on July 3, 2015.
"I was lucky enough to have him for 13 years," his mother, Debra Rosario, said.
Over the last year of his life, Nicholas’s health problems worsened and he spent more than 200 days at Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
"The nurses took very good care of him. I just love that hospital," Rosario said.
So when he passed, the Rosario’s wanted a way to honor his memory and give back to the hospital that took such good care of their son.
So they came up with a “Christmas in July” toy collection, which they deliver on the anniversary of his death.
"We set up these special drop boxes and put them in different locations throughout the community," Bobby Rosario said.
This is the second year the Rosario’s are collecting toys and it’s already grown from last year’s number.
They collected more than 700 toys this time around, sorting them by category and then loading then into a truck to bring over to Cohen's.
Bringing smiles to the faces of sick children at Cohen’s.
"Being there with Nicholas, and Nicholas receiving the toys. We know what it's like to be in the hospital, to be in that dark place, and to get a little something from a nurse, just to say, hey we're thinking about you," Rosario said.
And smiles to a mom and dad who refuse to let their son’s memory fade.
"i am very overwhelmed by the generosity of my family and friends that give so much, it means everything," Rosario said.