Teen recovering from Vail Pass crash
Grand Junction Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” After Alyssa Rosati was struck by a car on Vail Pass on March 31, doctors told her father, Robert, that she probably wouldn’t survive.
Later, doctors told him she was “holding her own, but didn’t think they could save her leg.”
The Rosati family was traveling back to Grand Junction from Denver when, just over Vail Pass, they encountered a semi-truck spun sideways across the highway. The roads were icy, and the Rosati SUV smashed into the semi.
The family of four was unhurt in the collision, but vehicles behind them proceeded to strike their car, further ramming them into the semi. So they got out of the car.
Immediately Alyssa, her mother, Tina Cordero-Rosati, and 11-year-old sister Adriana were struck by cars. While her mother and sister suffered relatively minor injuries, Alyssa was critically injured after being pinned from the pelvis down against another vehicle.
She was transferred to St. Anthony’s Central Hospital in Denver with four pelvic fractures, organ swelling, multiple leg fractures, tissue and muscle damage, and a fracture of her L-4 vertebrae in her lower back.
For days, Alyssa, a sophomore at Fruita Monument High School, slipped in and out of consciousness.
Alyssa was just weeks away from her 16th birthday, which was Tuesday.
“I just kept saying she’s going to have her birthday,” Cordero-Rosati said.
Last week, Alyssa left the intensive-care unit, moving to the orthopedic floor, where she now breaths without the help of a ventilator and has begun both physical and occupational therapy.
“The physical therapist got her in a wheelchair today (Monday), which is huge,” Cordero-Rosati said.
For her birthday, her parents decorated Alyssa’s hospital room, brought a cake and invited the intensive care staff.
A fundraiser for the family was held Tuesday in Grand Junction by one of Robert Rosati’s coworkers at FedEx.
“Yesterday she started eating a little,” Cordero-Rosati said. “Today she looks more like herself.”
Get-well cards are all over the room. The cards and telephone calls from friends have helped boost the spirits of Alyssa.
Alyssa has no recollection of the accident. She doesn’t remember visitors she had the first two weeks.
Sunday, she asked her mom if she’ll be able to walk again.
“I told her she just needs to concentrate on healing. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. At least you’re here,” Cordero-Rosati said.
The Rosatis’ younger daughter, Adriana, suffered a femur fracture and a torn hamstring but was able to return to Grand Junction, where she’s been staying with a family friend and attending school at Holy Family.
Tina and Robert meanwhile have stayed at the Denver hospital concentrating on Alyssa. They eat their meals in the hospital cafeteria ” except for Sunday night when a Denver couple with a son in intensive care brought the Rosatis a home-cooked meal.
“We’ve met some amazing, compassionate people all praying for each others’ family members,” Cordero-Rosati said.
Cordero-Rosati is asking people to consider donating blood.
“She (Alyssa) required so much. Lucky she didn’t have a rare blood type,” Cordero-Rosati said.
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