Section: Press Releases

A Miraculous Story of Heartbreak and Survival to Mark Veteran’s Day 2008

A Miraculous Story of Heartbreak and Survival to Mark Veteran’s Day 2008
Josh Cooley Leaves Casa Colina Hospital in Pomona – His Home Away from Home Since 2006

What: On Veteran’s Day, Sergeant Josh Cooley, a decorated solider and recipient of the Purple Heart for bravery, will say a final, emotional farewell to the staff at Casa Colina Hospital in Pomona and, particularly, to one physical therapist he and his family credit with giving him a new lease on life. Josh has undergone a grueling rehabilitation process under the tough, but compassionate care of Casa Colina’s medical doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, neuropsychologists, and other clinicians. His primary physical therapist throughout the last two years was Stephanie Kaplan, PT, DPT, who along with other Casa Colina staffers, encouraged him to persevere despite a horrific brain injury that left Josh unable to walk, talk, eat, bathe or care for his personal needs.

Why: On July 5, 2005, Josh, was traveling with the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division when the transport vehicle he was riding in was ambushed by a roadside car bomb in Iraq. He slipped into a coma and was given no chance for recovery at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. One caring neurosurgeon, Dr. Rocco Armonda, recommended he be admitted to Casa Colina. Josh is now able to walk with his family and is speaking, joking and laughing again. His mother Christine, who raised three sons with her husband, all of whom served their country in the U.S. Marine Corps, is forever grateful for all the California friends and supporters who have done so much to help during Josh’s recovery. Most of all, she says, “Casa Colina did not just give Josh life, they gave him quality of life.”

The White House will dispatch a U.S. military plane to transport Josh and his mother on Tuesday afternoon, November 11 to Florida, where a new, retrofitted home awaits them in Brooksville thanks to the generosity of supporters.

Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11
10am Final physical therapy session with Stephanie Kaplan. PT, DPT
12:30 pm Departure from Casa Colina via ambulance

Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation
255 East Bonita Avenue, Pomona

Stephanie Bradhurst, Casa Colina Marketing Director at 909-596-7733, ext. 2227 or cell 909/210-9391 or Corinne Chee, Media Consultant, California Physical Therapy Association, (916) 552-2650.