My name is Alexis Ambrosino, Rob Ambrosino's niece.
As many of you know, on September 26th 2021, the Ambrosino family got the worst news imaginable- Rob had collapsed from a sudden and unexpected brain aneurysm when going to get ready for a gig later that day. His wife, Kristina, found him in the bathroom and immediately called 911. The first responders did everything they could to figure out exactly what happened and to bring life back to Rob. The initial assumption is that he suffered from a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest, but it was not until he arrived at the hospital where our family started to get more answers.
He was first transported to Newton Medical Center, where he was immediately admitted and put on a ventilator. After running many tests, the doctors came to the conclusion he had a brain aneurysm that was causing his brain to swell and bleed. They were unsure if the brain bleed was a direct cause from collapsing in the shower, or if he had it to begin with, causing his brain to hemorrhage. The staff decided they were not properly equipped and medevaced my uncle via helicopter to Overlook Medical Center all the way in Summit NJ.
From there, he was admitted and went into surgery immediately in attempt to relieve the pressure on his brain, doing everything they could to save his life. As the surgery went on, they realized the brain was under a mass amount of stress for too long, leaving the medical staff with an impossible task of relaying the news to our family. After doing everything they could to save Rob, we received the news that still, no one can wrap their heads around- his brain suffered long enough and they could not find any brain activity. He was declared brain dead later that night.
After hours of shock, disbelief, and countless tears later, the family was faced with an unimaginable decision. To keep Rob on life-support or let him go be with his brother Greg and mother Carol. While trying to process this horrific new reality, Rob was on life-support for days to come.
I do not know if this is a type of tragedy that you can find the reason and sense in. However, it is one where we were all forced to make our own sense of. For our family, that reason we created was that Rob was an organ donor. Did you know only 1% of organ donors can actually donate their organs? This is because there is preliminary criteria which my uncle qualified for both- to pass away in a hospital, and be on life-support. Wow. With no surprise, it was the legend of Rob that was able to do so. He was able to donate each and every one of his organs to a person in need. We take solace in the fact that he lives on in many other people. We are still waiting on where all of his organs went, but so far we know the following:
His heart went to a 61 year old man, his liver went to a 53-year-old man, and his kidneys went to two different people. I will post updates in here when I find out more.
To know my Uncle was to know he lit up any room he walked in to. He was ALWAYS smiling, laughing, or cracking a joke no matter what kind of day he had. He was the kind of man that put others first. That is with no surprise him being a coach, teacher, and musician for the last 20+ years. Rob loved to teach others- and that was not only in their respective subject, sport, or instrument, but life in general. He truly had a way with words and knew exactly how to make others feel special. He was arguably the biggest part of any community he blessed us with- whether that be Sparta athletics, Dover athletics, a respected and basically home-town famous musician, his kid's lives, being a loving husband... you name it, he touched every person's life in more ways than just the traditional role he was supposed to play. Rob was so much more than just an amazing father, husband, brother, son, friend, coach, teacher, mentor, etc. He always made sure to go above and beyond to be a well-respected part of the community. "The Mayor of Sparta" as some like to call him, Rob knew someone no matter where he was and went out of his way to show them some love. To say Rob was known by many but loved by all is an understatement. He is truly a legend that will live on forever and for that, we will celebrate. We love you and will never stop missing you, but we will sing, dance, and love one another to honor your memory.
Please shed some love to his wife Kristina, daughters Erika (20) and Lauren (17), and son Robbie (13) during this unimaginable time. As expected, they are left will a mass amount of medical bills from this tragedy on top of grieving the loss of their husband and father. Anything helps.