At the Yolo Crisis Nursery, children and infants under age five can find a safe, caring place when their families are facing crisis or hardship.
Katie was one such child, only two-years-old when her mother, Louise, unexpectedly needed surgery. Katie has Down Syndrome, and there was no family nearby. Among the few close friends in their rural area, no one felt capable of caring for this special needs child. Fortunately, Louise learned about the Yolo Crisis Nursery and set up services just in time for what turned out to be an emergency surgery.
“I trotted beside the gurney as it rolled to the operating room, answering last minute questions from Louise and getting her signature on legal documents so that we could care for Katie,” said Heather Vazquez, family services coordinator. “Louise was upset because Katie had no diapers, toys or clothes with her and she is a picky eater. I kept repeating that we could take care of everything and she should just focus on having a successful surgery and getting better.”
Heather had brought snacks and toys to keep Katie occupied while they drove to the nursery so the initial separation went smoothly. Katie had never been apart from her mom and became bewildered and uneasy once at the nursery. But Heather had promised Louise, “If Katie needs to be held in someone’s arms all night, that’s what we will do.”
Katie stayed at the nursery four days, and while she needed extra comforting at night, she also adapted and thrived with the consistent nursery schedule and attention. “What could have been a traumatizing experience,” Heather said, “we hope will be a happy memory for Katie.”
It’s generous contributions by individuals and organizations that support the Yolo Crisis Nursery staff with resources to do whatever it takes to help a child feel calm and safe.