Back from brink
ROCCO Turazza is a normal a teenager – he is always hungry, hangs out with his friends and wants to play footy.
Yet the 14-year-old has had an anything but typical experience growing up.
When Rocco was eight years old he suffered a stroke, which left him in hospital for eight months, including two months in ICU.
Rocco said he did not really remember much of what happened during that time.
“I do remember for a period of time where I could not see very well and I could not talk,” he said.
“I had to learn how to talk again, how to walk; that took a long time but I got there in the end.”
He was also artificially fed until last year but can now enjoy eating with his family.
The John Curtin College of the Arts student said he used to need an adult to walk him around at school.
“It was the hardest having an adult around with me at all time,” he said.
“Now I can go to Freo and catch a bus with my friends.”
The Beaconsfield resident said he never thought recovery would take this long.
“I never gave though,” he said.
“I have a goal. I want to play footy – at my school up people always have a football with them and after school they have matches. I might as well give it a try.”
As for advice he would give anyone facing a similar situation, he said never give up.
Rocky Bay senior physiotherapist Zhao Teoh said Rocco had surprised everyone with his determination.
“First achieving independent walking indoor and outdoor, and most recently being able to run,” he said.
“This has of course come with lots of hard work and sacrifice, including attending physiotherapy during school holidays and often many after school sessions. OLIVIA Vivian inspired young girls when she appeared on Australian Ninja Warrior this year and now she has turned her attention to young people in remote and under-serviced communities.
The former Olympic gymnast is an ambassador for Wellness Walkabout, a mass yoga class at Optus Stadium to raise money for Fair Game, a not-for-profit group providing health and fitness programs and recycled sports equipment to remote and under-serviced communities in WA.
“Since the show (Ninja Warrior) came out, the response from parents and young girls has been great,” Vivian said.
“I want to inspire young women and older women who are not confident in themselves to go out and give things like this a go.”
The Leaky Tap cafe owner said she practised yoga as often as she could.
“It’s something where you shouldn’t wait until you feel like you need it. I do it during my warm-ups at least,” Vivian said.
Fair Game is aiming to attract 3000 people to the event so it becomes the biggest yoga class in Australia.
There will be four yoga teachers running the class, including Fremantle’s Shawn Taylor.