COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – It’s no secret that Ohio State and Notre Dame are rivals. However, one former Notre Dame tennis player has a unique connection.
From a young age, Ron Rosas loved tennis. He went on to play at the University of Notre Dame. Rosas was part of the 1992 team that went from lowest-ranked in the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships to the title-match.
This past winter, Rosas wasn’t feeling the best. He was quickly hospitalized in Texas, where he’s from. He spent a little over a month there which is when he learned his pneumonia had turned septic. Which meant he had to lose all four limbs. Instead of letting that break him, Rosas remained positive and his family began searching for the best option.
They decided on The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, because after rounds of interviews with other hospitals, Dr. Jason Souza was the only one that confidently said he could save his right elbow. Which meant a lot to Rosas because he wasn’t ready to give up his love for tennis.
Rosas added that one thing he liked about the medical center is that Dr. Souza had a plan.
“What we did was said okay, this is our overall plan but we aren’t going to think about this. We are gonna, and this is like the football analogy, one game at a time. Ron actually used the tennis analogy, one point at a time,” Souza said.
That’s what they did. After 70 plus hours of surgery and about nine weeks in Columbus, Rosas got to eventually return home and he’s made a lot of progress.
If anyone is in the same boat and might need an amputation, Ron’s wife, Victoria, wants everyone to know that advanced amputation care programs are out there. Not only can these programs help address or even stop phantom nerve pain, the latest procedures can rebuild and restore what’s been lost as a result of trauma.
“What they’re doing at Ohio State and the Wexner Medical Center is, they put me in the best position for the future on what may still be coming out. I plan to hopefully be around for a long time,” Rosas said.
He also added that he felt safe with the team there, more than 100 caregivers took care of him and his family. Rosas was still in the hospital during Easter, so some of the nurses brought one of their younger daughters an Easter Basket.
“Without that team I don’t know if I would be where I am right now. I mean, they did more than help me in keeping this positive attitude, and humor at such a difficult time,” Rosas said.
Dr. Souza credits his amazing team for always keeping a smile on patients’ faces.
Recently, Ron took his first steps in his home without the aid of a walker. He also just got his first prosthetic arm, so one day he’ll be able to play the sport he loves so much once again.
Rosas and Dr. Souza will be recognized during the game this Saturday. There is a GoFundMe going on for him and his journey.