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Wrestler, 16, home recuperating from MRSA

Hauppauge's Nick Mauriello, top, competes in a wrestling

Hauppauge's Nick Mauriello, top, competes in a wrestling match against St. Anthony's. (Dec. 17, 2009) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

ALBANY - Nick Mauriello Jr. was resting comfortably Friday at his home in Hauppauge. The Hauppauge High School junior was released from Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital Feb. 18 after a 19-day battle with a bacterial infection associated with wrestling.

Mauriello, 16, was hospitalized after he was diagnosed with MRSA and Lemierre's syndrome, a rare inflammation of the blood vessels that doctors said was an offshoot of the MRSA. The top-ranked wrestler was in the fight of his life battling the potentially lethal bacteria that can be transferred by skin-to-skin contact.

"He's doing great and eating really well," said his father, Nick Mauriello Sr. "Nick has a port in his right arm, and he's still taking the antibiotics, but the doctors said the bacteria was killed and he was cleared to go home last week. The port is a little inconvenient, but it comes out on March 14."

Mauriello Sr., who also serves as an assistant wrestling coach for Hauppauge, was in Albany Friday with his sons Chris, 13, and Matt, 15, to watch the opening rounds of the state wrestling championships. He spent a lot of time texting Nick Jr. at home and updating him with the tournament results.

Mauriello said he hoped to watch his son make a complete recovery and get back to full strength to make a run at next year's state championship.