When Infant Son Dies, Mother Descends into Deep Depression

Posted on November 29, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Meet Her in This Video and Find Out How She Rebuilt Her Life

Hospitalized since birth, Neleida Osorio’s infant son died in May, sending his mother into a deep depression she still struggles to overcome.  Ms. Osorio lives in East Harlem, one of the poorest communities in New York City, where 77-percent of families live below the poverty level.  Fortunately, she found her way to our Catholic Charities NY affiliate, LSA Family Health Service, also located there.

“This was one of the most difficult times in my life,” Ms. Osorio says in this powerful video

Each year, LSA Family Health Service provides over 2,000 families like Ms. Osorio’s with health, education and family support services.  Its founders, Little Sisters of the Assumption, began providing nursing care to mothers in East Harlem in 1958.  Today, it offers maternal health nursing with additional programs that strengthen whole families. 

“They’re intact families but the fathers are working 18-20 hours a day washing dishes, delivering meals,” says LSA CEO Reada Edelstein. “So they’re isolated from their families; families are isolated; and there is linguistic isolation since this is a neighborhood of immigrants.

At LSA, a child makes a breakthrough in his reading skills; isolated mothers connect in an art-therapy group; a family struggling with food insecurity gets a turkey to prepare their first Thanksgiving dinner.

“The core and the heart of our mission are our families,” Ms. Edelstein adds.  “We approach our families from very much a strength-based perspective in the sense that we recognize that all individuals, all families have strengths, have skills and experience that they bring to their lives and whatever’s happening to their lives.”

Thanks to LSA, Ms. Osorio has begun to rebuild her life.  She received counseling and her daughter, age 10, receives help through their special art program for neighborhood children. 

“I was alone in this country,” she says.  “This was a really strong support for me.”

The senior adjusting to recent blindness, the developmentally disabled child, and the emotionally challenged adult need the intensive care and support provided by Catholic Charities to live with dignity and in safety. Through a network of specialized services, Catholic Charities cares compassionately for the most vulnerable New Yorkers – non-Catholics and Catholics alike. 

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