Born in Calcutta, India, in 1980, Melissa Carriuolo moved to Bellevue, Washington, at around age six years, when she was adopted by her single mom, Janet Tina Carriuolo. Melissa experienced physical and intellectual challenges and endured many hardships in her life: surviving as a street child in Calcutta, countless hospitalizations for severe asthma, her mother's death in 2013, and a vehicle-pedestrian accident in 2015 that seriously injured her leg.
Despite these difficulties, Melissa found joy in life and enriched the lives of those close to her. She mostly accepted life as it unfolded, rarely complaining. Melissa was spunky, straightforward, opinionated, funny, wise, mischievous, lovable and loyal. She possessed much knowledge about a variety of subjects, including lighthouses, NFL football, and maps. Melissa loved many things: nail polish (her nail colors always seasonally appropriate), coloring intricate designs with markers, word search puzzles, Boston, lighthouses, travel, music, Evergreen Hospital, the colors red and pink, the New England Patriots, chocolate, hot tea, texting, dogs, her stuffed snow leopards Oliver and Olivia, shopping, all things Italian, and watching tennis and "Gunsmoke" on television.
Melissa was a tremendous blessing in the lives of those who loved her, and in her death, she blessed others with the gift of life by donating her organs. The Walk of Honor to the operating room was an experience forever embedded in the hearts of us who walked behind her bed that day.
Melissa was a parishioner of St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, and plans for a memorial service are pending there.
Gratitude is extended to the staff of Overlake Hospital for Melissa's care in her final days and to Life Center Northwest. Appreciation is also given to Evergreen Hospital, especially to Dr. Michael Eulberg, who cared for Melissa for over twenty years; to the other pulmonologists and hospitalists who treated her during her many hospitalizations there; and to the nursing staff, several of whom befriended her. Melissa's friends were her family. Among many in that group, Donna and Neverlyn were most involved in her life over the years since her mother passed away, and they deeply mourn her loss, as do others.
Chris Huff wrote on Feb 11, 2023:
"Melissa was such a character! The gleam in her eyes when she could be in on a joke, or when she talked about something new that she had learned! She challenged us to be our best selves, but also rewarded us with her loyalty. I remember the fun trips to Panera to see her favorite employee there. And her delight at having her room at the Snoqualmie Hospital decorated for Christmas.
She found a way to live her life with hardships and challenges that the rest of us can only imagine. Her resilience after losing her Mom was impressive, as she went on to forge the next phase of her life. And ultimately, how lovely that a pathway was found at the end of her life to make someone else?s life better.