Update: Monetary donations to help the Mauriello family can be given to David Smith, athletic trainer at Hauppauge High School, or any member of Hauppauge wrestling staff to reach the family.
A Hauppauge High School wrestler in the fight of his young life has received an outpouring of community support from teammates and district residents.
Hauppauge wrestling community is pulling together for junior Nick Mauriello, who is in the pediatric intensive care unit of Stony Brook University Hospital with Lemierre’s Syndrome, a rare but deadly bacterial infection in the mouth or throat spread through the circulatory system.
A community e-mail chain started Friday and forwarded to Patch asked Hauppauge residents to join a food chain, providing hot or prepared meals to help the six-person Mauriello family spend more time at Nick's bedside.
In addition, donations are being collected to help cover the family's living expenses while Nick is hospitalized. The money donated by wrestling alumni and the community will go towards covering basic costs of groceries, cleaning services, laundry and other various costs the family incurs as result of the illness and lengthy hospital stay.
Nick Mauriello was hospitalized on Jan. 30, after reporting neck pain, breathing problems and limited mobility after competing in 18 matches over an 8-day span, according published reports. The reports also state Mauriello contracted Lemierre’s Syndrome as a secondary infection caused by Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, commonly called MRSA.
Hauppauge Superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss sent a letter to district residents on Feb. 3, warning and urging them to take precautions by following good hygiene habits.
Hauppauge school officials did not respond for requests for comment on how the matter is being handled.
Nick Mauriello who was ranked fifth in Suffolk County’s Section 11, Division 1 wrestling within the 125 pound weight class according to Long Island Wrestling Association, was expected to be a major contender for a league title this past Saturday.
Instead, Hauppauge Eagles wrestling took to the League V meet without their teammate, donning custom-made T-shirts in his honor, coach Chris Messina said. Among them was Chris Mauriello, Nick’s seventh-grade brother, who overcame his emotions to walk away the League V title in the 96 pound weight class and be named most oustanding wrestler.
“Under the stress the kids had with Nick being sick, being upset because he’s not doing better, they did very well. They decided to do better to for Nick – they made the T-shirts. It was a great tribute,” Messina said.