SAN MARCOS, TX
– Megan Palomo and fiancé Jesse Rivera welcomed their first child, Janiyah Angel Rivera, into the world on Jan. 1 at 1:51 a.m. at Central Texas Medical Center’s (CTMC) Women’s Center
, marking the first birth of the year
for Hays County. Having a New Year’s baby isn’t the first time the couple has beat the odds. Before meeting Palomo, Rivera admitted he was on a path to prison.
“[Megan] saved my life,” he said. “We fell in love the first day we met. After I met her, nothing else mattered. I didn’t have a reason to be out on the streets anymore.”
Palomo is anemic and was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 15. Lupus is an auto-immune disease that causes a person’s immune system to attack the body's cells and tissue, causing inflammation and tissue damage. Because of her medical condition, Palomo was told that she would never be able to have children. At one point, she was sick with walking pneumonia and passed away for seven minutes before doctors were able to bring her back to life.
“I remember seeing a white light and white birds flying around, and then I woke up,” she said.
Moving forward, Palomo will be a stay-at-home mom and Rivera plans to enlist in the Army. Currently, he is employed at Pluckers Wing Bar in San Marcos.
“We named our daughter Janiyah because it means God’s gift in Hebrew,” Rivera said. “This is a new year with new beginnings. I’m looking forward to giving my daughter advice and helping her with cuts and bruises and sharing memories and laughter.”
to read more about this couple's experience at the CTMC Women's Center.
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 700 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families. In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010 and again in 2011, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. In addition, CTMC added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.
CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, AHS has quickly grown to become the largest not-for-profit Protestant healthcare provider in the nation. Today, AHS supports 43 hospitals and employs 55,000 individuals. AHS hospitals are comprised of 7,700 licensed beds, providing care for 4 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.