The game of life isn't about winning or losing; it's about finding the strength to keep playing, Against All Odds.
At the age of 12, Anthony Razzano followed the script of many young boys. He wanted to play football and on the evening of October 31, 1987 he was scheduled to play in an important Pop Warner football game under the lights at the historic Taggart Stadium. However, on that day, the script changed tragically. At the flick of a match in his family's garage, a catastrophic incident forced Anthony out a side door, engulfed in a ball of flames. Neighbors acted quickly to extinguish the fire and summon paramedics who rushed him to a nearby hospital. Anthony was transported by helicopter to one of the top Burn Trauma Centers in the country, the West Penn Burn Unit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While the medical staff worked to save his life the doctors drove home the seriousness of the situation to his family. His family was told to make funeral arrangements. The doctors said, they would do everything in their power to save his life, but did not give any hope for him to survive. However, after battling multiple bouts of sepsis, over 134 blood transfusions and being given his last rights three times, remarkably, Anthony survived and was released from the hospital on January 14, 1988. When Anthony walked out of West Penn, he didn’t walk alone. With his family by his side and halls lined with patients, medical staff and members of the media applauding, he beat the odds. But surviving wasn’t enough for Anthony. With fierce determination he persevered through the painful recovery, the intense physical therapy, and every other obstacle in his way to live a meaningful life. Although he lost the fingers on his left hand and suffered scarring all over his body, he continued to fight back and ultimately resumed playing football for the New Castle Red Hurricanes. In fact, again defying the odds, Anthony was a two year letterman on the varsity football team, and starting outside linebacker his senior year. Ultimately realizing his dream of playing under the lights at Taggart Stadium. Anthony knows his survival was a blessing from God. He believes he was blessed with this miraculous recovery to inspire others to keep fighting when they are hardest hit. Anthony continues to use the lessons he learned through this tragedy to achieve new goals. He went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Taxation. Today, Anthony is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified NFL Contract Advisor. He, and his wife Katie of 24 years have operated their own business advisory firm for 18 years. They are the parents of two amazing children, Julia, 20 and Anthony Jr, 11. Anthony Sr can often be found volunteering as a youth coach both on the baseball and football field, where he teaches young people the power of perseverance.
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Anthony Razzano’s story captivated and motivated his entire community, from first responders, to clergy, local businesses, and even NFL players. The entire community of New Castle, PA and far beyond followed his journey with open hearts and bated breath, from his harrowing survival in the first three days through his dramatic and unprecedented recovery.