When Ricardo Liborio’s youngest daughter was 1½ years old, she spent three months in the hospital and 15 days in the intensive care unit. Doctors discovered that the soft part of her head had fused together before her brain was fully developed. As her brain developed, it compressed the optic nerve against the skull, which left her permanently blind.
Ricardo’s daughter endured two complicated brain surgeries, with doctors breaking open her skull to allow room for her brain to grow. After the second surgery, she started having seizures.
“It was a rough time,” Ricardo said. “I have two pictures in my wallet from when we were in the ICU and my wife and I had to learn to sleep in the chairs. Every time something goes wrong in life, I think about that time. It gives me perspective.”
Ricardo recalled being in the cafeteria of the Miami Children’s Hospital’s neurology wing at 2:00 in the morning with three other fathers.
“I talked to these guys every night for three months,” Ricardo said. “I was worried that my daughter was going to be blind, but all three of their kids had brain cancer. Two of them died, and I felt so sorry for their families, but it gave me perspective. My daughter was blind, but when you see what I saw, you think, ‘This sucks,’ but you lived through it.” Continue reading “Ricardo Liborio: The Sport That Has Given Me Everything”