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Elderly disabled residents finally get COVID vaccine

Author: Amanda Lojewski

This article originally appeared on on March 22, 2021.

Vice President of Brightstar Care Susan Nimnuan, has been pushing to get in-home and homebound patients the COVID-19 vaccine. When she first started her efforts she didn’t think that day would ever happen.

Until it did, her dream was also a reality for the Olivieri’s who have been waiting for the day to get vaccinated, ever since the vaccine was first announced.

“It has lifted a lot of weight off our shoulders,” said Edwin Olivieri homebound resident who received the vaccine.

Edwin and his wife Isabel have been trying to get their vaccine for months. Edwin has diabetes, survived a stroke, and recently lost his vision. Their daughter and caregiver Linda Flores and her husband used two laptops, two ipads, and their cell phones just to get them on a list.

“We’ve been able to get on lists but nothing was able to come to fruition,” said Flores.

But now the wait is over, as Friday morning Edwin, Isabel, Linda, and her Uncle received their vaccine.

“It was a very pleasant surprise to know that we were able to get this service right in our own home,” Edwin said.

The Oliveri’s other daughter has cancer, and without their vaccination, they haven’t been able to see her since December.

“Now we can get together with her, we can see her, we can hug her,” Isabel said. “We need that hug that we always had everyday ya know?”

With a personal connection to this family, Nimnuan pushed hard, making phone calls, sending emails, even going to meetings.

“They’re someone’s mother, they’re someone’s father, they’re someone’s grandparent,” said Nimnuan.

She knows firsthand how important our loved ones are, as her grandfather had Parkinson’s.

“It’s just about giving back to our seniors. I wish I would’ve had more time with my grandparents so maybe this can help someone else have that opportunity,” said Nimnuan.

Even though the Oliveri’s are vaccinated, Edwin said they will continue doing what they did before. Such as, washing their hands often, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Brightstar Care will do its second round of vaccinations next week.

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