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McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Newsmagazine — Volume 6, Issue 1, Spring 2012

Michael Rosati

Lifelong patient 'gives back' as a nurse

Michael Rosati grew up with his summers in the hospital, having 25 facial reconstruction surgeries. He is now dedicating himself to taking care of others as a nurse.

The Mohawk College student was one of 45 men among 445 students who graduated from the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program in June.

The 22-year-old was born with Crouzon syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by the premature fusion of certain skull bones, which prevents the skull from growing normally and affects the shape of the head and face. Symptoms are very pronounced features, especially in the face, including: low-set ears; the appearance of a short and broad head; and a compressed nasal passage. Hearing loss, vision and dental problems are also common.

Rosati's surgeries were performed at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The Stoney Creek native said he wanted to become a nurse because of the great care he has received and since his mother has been a nurse for 30 years.

"I'm a product of a hospital and this is my way of giving back," Rosati said. "To me, I've grown up having surgeries so it's the norm. The hospital is a temporary home. I've grown up there."

Rosati, who has a full-time job in the Clinical Neurosciences Unit of the Hamilton General Hospital, said he doesn't let the social stigma around his appearance affect him.

"I'm used to it. I could take it down a positive road or a negative road. I choose the positive side of life because it has been challenging, but I am just grateful for being healthy and happy," he said. "I look at myself in the mirror and I say 'This is who I am and I'm happy with it.'"