For many people, the birth of a child is a happy occasion. For Angelly Rivera, it was a heartbreaking experience. Her baby, A.M. was born at 23 weeks of gestation, weighing 1 lb., 6 oz., with a long list of health complications. She spent several months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). During this time, A.M. had open-heart surgery. All signs indicated that her baby would not make it. “The fact that she’s alive and thriving — her entire life — is a miracle,” Angelly explains as she sits down to talk about her experiences with Care Options for Kids.
“I first heard about Care Options for Kids after the first home healthcare provider I contacted didn’t take my health insurance. So I contacted my insurance company and they contacted Care Options for Kids.” From the beginning, Angelly was impressed. “They came over, they met my daughter. They did an assessment to see what we would need — hand sanitizer, gloves for the nurses, even toilet paper — and a lovely woman named Rebecca brings us a box every month!”
A.M., who’s now almost a year old, receives home health care from nurses who stay for a full overnight shift. Every single night, from 7 pm to 7 am. To this end, Care Options for Kids rotates several nurses so that someone can be available on a daily basis. “I really like all of them,” states Angelly. “They’re all very good, but my favorite one is Lolita.”
She’s referring to Lolita Kollore, a Registered Nurse who has been providing care for A.M. since July 2019. “Oh my God! She’s the best!” exclaims Angelly, the gratitude evident in her voice. “She’s the hardest working person I’ve ever met. She does her job with passion. I feel so safe and comfortable leaving my child with her. Every time A.M. is with her, I know she’s in the best hands.”
On a typical day, Lolita shows up for her shift early — at around 6:40 pm on most days. She washes her hands, says hello to A.M., and talks with Angelly about how the day has been for A.M. Lolita then updates a chart on her tablet, where she enters information about A.M.’s breathing rate, bowel movements, and overall health. She then feeds A.M. through her g-tube, gives her medications, watches TV with her, and gets her ready for bedtime. She repeats feedings through the g-tube throughout the night, she changes her diapers, and gets her back to sleep if she wakes up in the middle of the night. What’s also impressive to Angelly, is Lolita’s willingness to continue to help even when her shift is over. “Every morning, I take A.M. to PPC [Pediatric Palliative Care], and even though her shift is over, Lolita helps me get her ready — she even makes my bed! And, before leaving, she asks me if there’s anything else she can do for us.”
“Having her here allows me to go to school and work, and I always feel fine doing so because watching her taking care of my daughter is almost like being able to watch myself do it. She’s that gentle and that loving. And A.M. loves her! They interact well. My baby is so comfortable around her. She doesn’t cry. She sleeps well. She’s very attached to Lolita. Honestly, at this point, Lolita is our family!”
Angelly is also thankful for how at Care Options for Kids, we tailor our services to best fit people’s needs. “This company made sure that I got the best nurses — nurses with lots of experience with babies. This makes me feel comfortable to have them help me care for my daughter,” Angelly explained. And she feels just as grateful for our manager, Alyssa. “Any time I call them when I need anything, they find a solution in a heartbeat. It doesn’t matter what time it is. She always provides the best service.”
Angelly is so grateful for her experiences with Care Options for Kids, she gets emotional when talking about them. “The whole group in general, they’re so good. They’re a very good company. They get the job done. They have a perfect coordinator. They have perfect nurses. I would recommend this company with my eyes closed.”