Rosie’s Road To Recovery: Day 1

We want to extend our sincerest appreciation for your words of encouragement, your prayers, your love, and your support! It has felt like the day that would never come….and the day that would never end!

Rosie’s surgery was Tuesday, June 16th. 



We arrived at the hospital at 4:45am. The surgery was to start at 7am and would last roughly 6 hours. Rosie was shaking so bad that it was difficult to get her IV started. The nurse and anesthesiologist weren’t aware of Rosie’s Developmental Delay/Sensory Integration Disorder. They couldn’t understand why a 16 year-old was struggling so much to sit still and was unable to follow simple commands.

As soon as I explained that she’s developmentally more like an 8 year-old… they began to approach her differently and things went much smoother.


The anesthesiologist wanted Rosie to feel more comfortable so he took off his mask and hat. He was an elderly bald man. He said he has grandkids too and he will take good care of her. I said, “See Rosie – he’s just like papaw!”

Rosie frantically: Oh no! Papaw can’t keep his hands still. I don’t want him poking me with needles if he can’t keep his hands still. We need to find someone younger! (LOL)



Rosie had a few minor setbacks as her bones were more rigid than expected. The first update we received was a bit discouraging. They weren’t sure they would be able to fix the curve more than 10%….and perhaps the best they can do is simply keep it from getting worse. Rosie had such high hopes that the surgery would help her look “normal”.

We always remind Rosie how special she is and how God has a great plan for her life. She’s a miracle. When I give her health history – starting with tetanus at 8 days old – everyone is shocked she survived. But her response is always the same: I don’t want to be special. I want to be like everyone else.

The great news is that her surgery was actually VERY successful! In fact – they were able to correct her curve more than 80%!

**You can see in the photos the drastic difference of her “before/after” x-rays. (FYI – the “after” x-rays were taken while she was still open on the table. They removed those scissors before they closed her up! LOL!)



Rosie was taken from surgery directly to the ICU. To our PLEASANT surprise, Jose & I both were able to spend the whole afternoon with her. The first few hours were really difficult. She was in SO MUCH pain and couldn’t find the words to really express how she was feeling. We used “Feeling Pictures“ with different emotions to help her express how she was doing.


Our First Conversations Post-Surgery:

As Rosie woke up in the ICU these were her very first words:

Is it over? I didn’t die? Give me a hug. Are you sure I didn’t die? What time is it? When will they start the surgery?



Me: You already had your surgery. It’s over. You did it.
Rosie: No. No I didn’t. (Shaking her head)
Me: Yes baby. It’s over.
Rosie: I didn’t die?
Me: No Rosie. This is definitely not heaven.
Rosie: oh no. I didn’t make it to heaven?
Me: Rosie we are in Indiana in the hospital.
Rosie: Yeah. You are right. Indiana is not heaven. (She said it not me!LOL)
Rosie: What time is it?
Me: It’s 2pm.
Rosie: Oh no. I missed my surgery. It was at 7.
Me: Rosie it’s over. You already had it.
Rosie: No. I don’t think so.
Me: Yes you did it! I can’t wait for you to see what they did to your back. You are going to be taller now.
Rosie while trying to turn her head to look at her back: Oh no. I can’t even see my back anymore. Did they remove the whole thing?
Rosie: Where’s daddy.
Jose: I’m right here.
Rosie: No. I want to see Jose.
Jose: It’s me Rosie.
Rosie: oh. Yeah. You are right.
Rosie: I need to use the bathroom.
Me: You have a tube hooked up. It’s okay to pee. You don’t need to get up. You can go in the bed.
Rosie: No. I’m not a baby. That’s gross. I’m not going to make a mess.
Nurse: Rosie it’s okay. You won’t make a mess because it’s going to go into this bag.
Rosie: Well that’s nasty. You really shouldn’t be proud of that. I’m not a puppy.

The nursing staff LOVE Rosie! They are so gentle and caring with her.

Rosie got to pick out a stuffed animal from the ICU floor. She picked out a koala bear. Rosie asks every person to hug her as they come into the room AND to hug her koala when they leave the room.

They did a change of shift this afternoon and the nurse said goodbye to Rosie.

Rosie started to cry: Why are you leaving? I wanted us to be good friends! What I am supposed to tell my bear? She will be so sad.



Jose left around 6:30pm and I’m here for the night.

Being in the ICU – the nurses, the smells, the beeping machines, the constant vital signs/pain checks… feeding her ice chips, helping her get comfortable in bed, reminding her what day it is, where she is, that everything’s going to be okay .. it felt ALL TOO familiar. I had to stop giving regular updates…because quite frankly – I couldn’t see the keys for the tears. My post from “a year ago today” was about officially taking over all of Lori’s home health care.

I’ll have more updates tomorrow! Please continue to lift my sweet baby girl in your prayers! I’m SO proud of how well she’s handling everything.

They said day 2 & 3 are usually the worst days of the recovery process and she’s going to have to find a new way to do her daily activities. She can’t bend/twist her back or lift anything more than 5 pounds for at least 6 months! So we’ve got quite a rough road ahead….but we know we aren’t traveling on it all alone.


There was a comment earlier today about whether something could be sent to Rosie during her hospital stay. She can’t have any live flowers… but anything else is fine. We really don’t know how long she’ll be here in the hospital. We’ve heard anywhere from 5-10 days. She will be staying in Garrett, IN (just 15 minutes away) over the next several months while she does her therapy/recovery. If you would like my brother’s home address – I can message that separately.
Currently: She’s in Parkview Regional Medical Center.
Name: Rosie Castillo
Room: PICU 2nd Floor
Hospital: 260-266-1000

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