Man with cerebral palsy, mom struggle to survive

Robby Suranyi, left and his mother, Nina Suranyi both must use wheelchairs. Robby has Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Quadriplegia and his mother is battling congestive heart failure. They live together in Wellington.

Robby Suranyi is a bit of a ladies man. He loves getting out of the house and going places around town, but his cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia make it tough to go anywhere.

In short, he has the personality of a physically and mentally fit 33-year-old, but his medical conditions give him troubles that most people can’t imagine.

“It’s just difficult all around,” said his mother Nina Suranyi, 67, who lives with her son in Wellington — and who has a whole slew of her own medical issues to battle.

Nina was given two weeks to live 42 years ago. She has battled congestive heart failure and other medical conditions to be there for Robby. She also uses a wheelchair and needs an oxygen tank. It has been decades since she was able to work and the family lives off Social Security.

It was easier before Robby’s father died. The family would frequently take trips to Disney World and Robby would get out of the house. They had more money and support.

But George Suranyi died nearly 20 years ago, and it has been a struggle ever since.

Robby smiles as he talks to his mother in his room.

Robby smiles as he talks to his mother in his room.

Now the family requires a live-in aide. Eva Lubin lives with the Suranyis and has been great for Robby. But finding a good aide was a struggle. Nina said their previous live-in aide stole from the family, ignored Robby for long periods of time, andchanged the password on the family computer, making them unable to use it.

The family used to have a wheelchair-accessible van, but they couldn’t make the payments after George died. Getting Robby in and out of a standard vehicle is a two-person job.

A separate wheelchair that folds into a car would be helpful in getting Robby out of the house. His mother thinks all the trips he has taken have been what has gotten Robby this far. A wheelchair-accessible van would be even better.

They also need money to get Robby’s eyes checked by a specialist. He has diagnosed vision problems, but they can’t afford to get them corrected.

Robby’s issues aren’t just physical. Recently he asked his mother about her knee that has been fused for years. Nina wonders how long he’s been waiting to ask that question.

“He’s been sitting on all these things going through his head but not knowing how to phrase the question,” she said.

He spends his days at the Palm Beach Habilitation Center. He talks to the staff and does all the tasks that he can do. Nina would like for her son to get outside more often.

She is focused on getting Robby everything he needs, but it’s too tough without being able to work.

“The prices of these things are unbelievable,” she said, “especially when you’ve living on Social Security.”


Robby Suranyi uses a wheelchair, because of cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, but he loves going outdoors and meeting people. That’s largely a dream for the Wellington man who lives with his ailing mother, who also uses a wheelchair. The family needs a wheelchair-accessible van and a transport wheelchair for Robby, as well as funds for an eye doctor to check his vision. They need a portable oxygen tank and a working computer (or computer repair services). They would love help securing a less expensive apartment, plus help paying first and last month’s rent and a security deposit. Robby is an outgoing guy who would appreciate tickets to local attractions.

Photography by Greg Lovett/Staff

Nominated by Palm Beach Habilitation Center

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