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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hunting Park Hero

Betsy Betancourt:

Neida died suddenly in April, from an infection with an onset and progression so rapid, Betsy still can't grasp it.

"She had stomach pain on Thursday and passed away on Sunday," says Betsy. "She coded four times. Everything shut down."

In the weeks since, Betsy's life has become unrecognizable.

Four of Neida's children have moved into her tiny, two-bedroom rental home in Hunting Park (the youngest child is living with another relative for now). And Betsy's daily routine - once hectic but manageable as she juggled care of her daughter, Bryani, with her schoolwork - now overwhelms her.

It's not just the cooking, shopping, laundry and homework that has put circles under her pretty brown eyes. It's also the task of helping Neida's children deal with their grief while she tries to work through her own.

"I don't even have time to cry," she says.

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