My name is Betsy Arroyo. On Saturday morning of January 17th, my niece, Stephanie M. Rivera was having difficulty breathing when grandma instructed her to use her nebulizer. Minutes into using the nebulizer, and without any warning, Stephanie began having convulsions. Within seconds, she was laying on the floor motionless and pale. Waiting for the paramedics to arrive, we performed CPR tirelessly trying to revive her. When the paramedics arrived, they worked quickly to get Stephanie to the ambulance. She was rushed to Clara Maass hospital in Belleville, and after two grueling hours, she was pronounced dead. Stephanie had just celebrated her 17th birthday four days earlier.
Our family is completely devasted and heart-broken. What makes it even worse is that just a short five years earlier, Noelia Arroyo passed away unexpectedly. Noelia was my older sister and the mother of Stephanie (17), twins Alfredo and Jonathon (15), and Beatriz (13). My brother-in-law Freddy has lost his wife and daughter in a matter of five years.
No words can explain how the loss of Noelia has impacted our family. And now, we have lost Stephanie too! She was the oldest of my nieces and nephews. I love them dearly. Since my sister's passing, I have shared custody of my nieces and nephews with Freddy. Freddy lost his job shortly after Noelia passed away. It's been very difficult emotionally and financially.
We are asking for donations that will help us cover the funeral expenses, and help our family with other expenses.
Stephanie loved to dance and was a student at Just Dance in Bloomfield. She graduated from First Avenue Elementary School in Newark and was a sophomore at St. Vincent's Academy in Newark. She was an honor roll student. Her brothers and sisters also are doing well in school and they all are active members of Our Lady of Good Council Church where they serve as alter servers. I continue to remain close to them to ensure that they thrive and have a bright future.
All donations of any amount will be humbly appreciated. God bless and thank you for your contribution.
The viewing will be held on Thursday, January 22, 2015 from 5pm-9pm at Alvarez Funeral Home, 240 Mount Prospect Ave. in Newark.
The Mass will be held on Friday, January 23rd at 10am at Our Lady of Good Council, 654 Summer Ave. in Newark followed by the burial at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.
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