WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (WOIO) - It was the trip of a lifetime for Rosemarie Tutolo and her daughter and granddaughter, but Tutolo suffered a severe stroke on the day she was set to fly home with her family.
And, ten days later, she flew home on an air ambulance that cost her family close to $100,000.
The flight is not covered by medicare, so Rosemarie’s husband Joe went to family and friends to come up with the money to cover the costs of the flight. The tab had to be paid before she plane would take off.
Now home in Willougbhy Rosemarie is focusing on her recovery.
“I think I am doing great and I am getting stronger because I can feel it,” she said.
Rosemarie’s stroke did serious damage to the left side of her body, and she is still working to regain the full use of her left arm and leg.
There were anxious moments in Rome as doctors worked to get the bleeding stopped in her brain. It took 10 days before Rosemarie was stabilized enough to fly, and it was when she was finally stable that the family was told that she could not get on a commercial flight.
The family has put together a GoFundMe account to help with expenses that continue to grow during the rehab process that is going well to this point.
Rosemarie is thankful for the support from her family.
“We do a lot of things together and hopefully we can still do all those good things,” she said.