Called the “Miracle Man” by hospital staff, Andrew Camerino has overcome long odds to survive after suffering a ruptured aneurysm and stroke nearly four months ago.
An avid outdoors enthusiast who recently had completed paramedic school, the 26-year-old Royal Palm Beach resident was stricken Nov. 2 with a subarachnoid hemorrhage and immediately airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center.
His chances of survival were dim.
“When we met with the physicians there, they basically told us at that point in time that he had less than a 1 percent chance of survival,” said his father, Ernie. “Within the first 24 hours, we called family members and that kind of thing.”
Andrew survived that first day, and every day since.
Despite serious medical setbacks, including high fevers, severe brain spasms, brain swelling and multiple infections, he has made tremendous progress in his recovery, his father said.
His ventilator has been removed, he can open his eyes, say a few words and recognize family.
“He’s coming way past what anybody ever thought he would do,” Camerino said. “His prognosis was horrible. When you talk to the neuro-doctors now, they’re surprised he’s come this far. I believe that every step he’s taken from Day One has been a miracle.”
Still, his care is costly.
Andrew, who remains at St. Mary’s, needs intensive rehabilitation at an acute medical care facility. Costs could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, his father said.
He no longer is covered under his family’s medical plan through the Palm Beach County School District — his father is the district’s leave and retirement manager — as he turned 26 last summer.
Andrew receives Medicaid, but services are limited at best, and nonexistent in many cases.
The family is asking for donations to help cover medical costs and treatment. The school district is leading those efforts.
“Donations will help to keep the family afloat and will help to purchase essential supplies that are very costly,” Independence Middle School Principal Lori Bonino said.
Camerino and his wife, Christy, are hopeful their son will continue to make progress in his recovery, though his future remains uncertain.
“Initially, we’re going to be working with him, trying to get motor movement in his hands and arms,” Camerino said. “We are going to try and see if we can get further speech. Cognitively, it’s way too early to tell.”
Checks can be sent to: Education Foundation, Attn: Mary Kay Murray, 3300 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33406. Checks can be made payable to Ernie Camerino.