It’s a reunion filled with gratitude as Robert Annunziato reunited with the doctor and medical team who saved his life at Staten Island University Hospital.
Annunziato, 40, never thought that a softball game would leave him fighting to stay alive in November 2019.
He was playing centerfield in the last game of a triple header when a ball was hit deep into the outfield. As he and another outfielder went for the ball, his teammate accidentally slammed his knee into Annunziato’s head, shattering the left side of his skull.
The husband and father of two lost consciousness and was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital. A CAT scan confirmed that he had an acute subdural hematoma that left him in a coma and paralyzed on one side.
Like pieces to a puzzle, neurosurgeons spent two hours rearranging parts of his skull.
“The temporal bone of the skull is thinner than the other bones of the skull. So that area is particularly vulnerable to fracture. We were able to take bone fragments and piece them together and secure them with small titanium plates and screws,” Dr. Ronit Gilad told PIX11 News.
After almost three weeks, he woke up on the night before Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends and gave a special shout out to his grandfather who held his hand throughout the ordeal.
Months of healing and physical therapy followed. Now, Annunziato said he’s back into the swing of things. But as for getting back on the field, he said he prefers coaching and cheering his team on from the sidelines.