Woodbridge brain trauma patient gives back to rehabilitation center

Bob Sorbanelli, center in blue shirt, recently visited the Brain Trauma Unit at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute to give thanks and appreciation for the care he received.PHOTO COURTESY OF HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
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Bob Sorbanelli, center in blue shirt, recently visited the Brain Trauma Unit at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute to give thanks and appreciation for the care he received.PHOTO COURTESY OF HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH

A Woodbridge community member is giving back to Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, visiting the Brain Trauma Unit to give appreciation for the care he received.

In October 2014, Bob Sorbanelli of Woodbridge woke up in an Intensive Care Unit wondering why he was in a hospital. He learned that two weeks prior, he suffered a tremendous fall due to an unforeseen medical issue resulting in a very severe injury to his head that caused his brain to bleed, according to information provided by Hackensack Meridian health.

Sorbanelli had no recollection of the fall and initially, doctors were not optimistic about his recovery, according to the statement.

However, he was transferred to the Brain Trauma Unit in the Center for Brain Injuries at Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Unit, located at Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center in Edison.

While at JFK Johnson, Sorbanelli flourished in his physical therapy sessions, which lasted about six months. He credits the compassionate and professional care team that worked with him to make sure he was able to do basic things again, like brushing his teeth, according to the statement.

He also learned about the Miles for Minds 5K, an annual walk and run hosted by Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center Foundation to raise crucial funds for the Center for Brain Health.

Since 2015, Sorbanelli has participated in every Miles for Minds 5K. This year, his team raised nearly $1,500 and all participants raised more than $46,000 collectively, according to the statement.

Today, Sorbanelli is feeling positive and grateful for the tremendous care he received at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, according to the statement.

“God wasn’t ready for me, and I wasn’t ready for him yet either,” he said in the statement. “I have a renewed sense of purpose – a compassionate calling to give back with appreciation and thanks for all that has been given back to me.”