Artistic mom with ‘huge heart’ died seeking recovery on Staten Island

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Inventive mother with ‘big coronary heart’ died in search of restoration on Staten Island

EDITOR’S NOTE: That is the primary a part of two tales highlighting the life and tragic lack of Melissa Veltidi, whose surprising loss of life occurred whereas being handled at Amethyst Home, the one girls’s sober residing middle from Staten Island.

Melissa Veltidi of Haverstraw in Rockland County died at age 27 on July 22, 2021, after shedding consciousness at Amethyst Home on Staten Island. (Courtesy of Anita Newell)

STATEN ISLAND, NY – The household of Melissa Veltidi, 27 – who misplaced consciousness at Amethyst Home in July 2021 and later died – mentioned she was a “implausible mom” with a “big coronary heart” and passionate in regards to the arts and nature.

Veltidi from Haverstraw in Rockland County was on the verge of restoration and a contemporary begin in life when she died on July 22, 2021 on the College of Richmond Medical Middle in West Brighton, in keeping with her bereaved household. .

Whereas Veltidi’s reason behind loss of life is listed as “undetermined”, the style of loss of life is “a number of drug poisoning”, in keeping with the medical expert. That is regardless of his loss of life at a time when Veltidi was taking solely prescribed, non-illegal medication.

As relations proceed to seek for solutions about Veltidi’s loss of life whereas present process therapy at Amethyst Home in Port Richmond, they do not need their beloved daughter and sister to be outlined by her habit.

“She was a implausible mom,” mentioned Veltidi’s mom, Anita Newell, who declined to have her granddaughter’s identify revealed in Advance/ “The best way she handled her daughter was with a really, very constructive perspective. She by no means gave her daughter negativity, which I believed was great.

Amethyst Home closed its doorways final yr. A number of whistleblowers beforehand instructed Advance/ that the 40-plus-year-old haven for girls in search of sobriety has turn out to be a home of distrust and neglect lately, alleging mismanagement, lacking medicines and a lack of confidence.

Staten Island’s Camelot mentioned it plans to reopen the ability beneath new administration.


For years earlier than arriving at Amethyst Home, Veltidi didn’t obtain the assistance she wanted for a number of points that Newell says stemmed from the sexual abuse of her daughter as a toddler.

“She at all times slipped by the cracks,” Newell mentioned. “She by no means acquired correct psychological well being care.”

Veltidi attended varied psychological well being and habit applications the place she was prescribed extreme capsules as an alternative of receiving speak remedy or different assist wanted to beat her points, Newell mentioned. Over time, Veltidi turned hooked on prescription capsules and road medication, together with opioids and sedatives, her mom mentioned.

“The therapy is all capsules, it is [some medical professionals’] reply to every thing as an alternative of looking for the basis of this drawback,” Newell mentioned. “Once you’re so drugged up, you are in a fog.”

Veltidi discovered to control docs and different suppliers to get medication to feed his habit, his mom mentioned.

“She knew what to say to get what she needed when she went to those individuals,” Newell mentioned of the docs and different suppliers. “I can not even inform you what number of medication she was taking without delay. It was so terrible, and he or she stored making an attempt to cease the capsules. She would go to a different therapy middle and they’d say, “Nicely, you want this medication. It was only a circle.


Newell needed to converse quietly as a result of Veltidi’s school-aged daughter was taking singing classes in an adjoining room.

“He misses his daughter terribly. I’ve to cease…” Newell mentioned, bursting into tears earlier than taking the time to regain his composure to proceed an interview with Advance/

Veltidi “had an enormous coronary heart” and was a “very caring and loving” lady, mentioned her sister, Jacqueline Zabrowski. “She was an exquisite mom and pal.”

Memorial for Melissa Veltidi, 27

A Chinese language lantern and balloons had been launched throughout a memorial service held on the primary anniversary of the loss of life of Melissa Veltidi, 27, of Haverstraw in Rockland County, who died on July 22, 2021, after collapsing in Amethyst Home on Staten Island. (Courtesy of Anita Newell)

The 27-year-old mom liked to attract along with her daughter and take her little one to enjoyable occasions, like festivals, mentioned one other of Veltidi’s sisters, Kristi Veltidi.

An newbie photographer who captured inventive photographs, Veltidi loved attending electrical mild music festivals and dancing freestyle with pals, Kristi Veltidi mentioned.

At the same time as an grownup, Veltidi managed to take care of a childlike means to see the nice in every thing and everybody, in keeping with his household.


“Everybody who met Melissa noticed that she was a free spirit, an open-minded thinker who by no means judged anybody she met,” her obituary mentioned. “She was outspoken and passionate and had a love for music and creativity. Melissa has at all times seen the nice in individuals and he or she made certain to lift her daughter with the identical openness, positivity and energy.

Kristi Veltidi, who was a month youthful than 16 when her sister was born: “She was very robust and really clever. She did not notice how good she was. She by no means knew, she by no means gave herself sufficient credit score.

Melissa Veltidi

Melissa Veltidi of Haverstraw in Rockland County died at age 27 on July 22, 2021, after shedding consciousness at Amethyst Home on Staten Island. It is one in every of her child pictures. (Courtesy of Anita Newell)

As a untimely child, Veltidi “needed to type of battle early in her life,” and that possible gave her energy, Kristi Veltidi mentioned.

Veltidi grew up in Congers in Rockland County, the place she attended Lakewood Elementary Faculty and Clarkstown North Excessive Faculty. Her dad and mom divorced when she was a toddler.

“She was like my little sidekick,” mentioned Zabrowski, who’s about 11 years older than Melissa. “I took him in every single place.”

Melissa “was a unusual, lovely woman who liked to attract and paint, and he or she liked to trip her bike,” Zabrowski recalled.

“I at all times consider her as that little fairy,” Zabrowski added. “She was very whimsical. She did not do any appearing or something, however she was actually like a bit of performer in life.

Melissa Veltidi as a young child

Melissa Veltidi of Haverstraw in Rockland County was about 4 years outdated when this picture was taken. (Courtesy of Anita Newell)

Alan Veltidi recollects many idyllic days spent in Lavallette on the Jersey Shore together with his deceased daughter when she was younger. She appeared to be at liberty to swim within the ocean and play along with her many pals from the seashore group, he mentioned.

Veltidi discovered to play the piano and the violin with instruction from her stepmother, Janis Veltidi. Alan Veltidi mentioned he remembers serving to his daughter with many college tasks, together with one primarily based on a fictional guide about what would occur if rats invaded Staten Island.

Though Veltidi has participated in lots of therapy applications for her points over time, she has not been capable of obtain peace of thoughts, not to mention long-term restoration.

“She did not wish to be the individual she was,” Newell mentioned of her daughter. “There was such hope for her and he or she struggled on daily basis. She had demons in her head, however you’ll by no means know. Everybody who met her liked her. She was a lovely younger lady . »

Melissa Veltidi

Melissa Veltidi of Haverstraw in Rockland County died at age 27 on July 22, 2021, after shedding consciousness at Amethyst Home on Staten Island. (Courtesy of Anita Newell)


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