“Caregiver of the Year” Award
Healings in Motion
I am honored to receive Healings in Motion “Caregiver of the Year” Award. The award is bittersweet as I reflect on challenges that earned me this recognition.
I was stunned to find out that my good friend had almost died from a subarachnoid bleed and had been hospitalized for months before I knew about it. As she begun to function independently again, I helped her by driving and doing whatever I knew to do. I learned a lot from this experience and watched her strengthen in her commitment to advocate for a Stroke Center and better stroke care in San Joaquin County.
Luckily I was walking to my office at Safeway’s Corporate office in Pleasanton, CA and noticed co-worker’s questioning the strange mannerisms of another co-worker. His speech was slurred. I had recently received a presentation on stroke awareness by Healings in Motion’s at my church in Livermore, CA. I was able to identify the stroke symptoms and called 911. When Paramedic arrived, I urged them to take him the nearest stroke center, which is what they did. They took him to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. My co-worker was at the hospital within one hour of his stroke symptoms and was eligible to receive the blood clot busting agent, tPA. After a few months of therapy, my co-worker was back at work. I feel that because of Healings in Motion’s outreach, the quality of my co-worker’s life was restored and Safeway saved money in recruiting and training a new employee.
Shortly after my co-workers incident, stroke dampened my spirits when my twin brother had three strokes within weeks of one another. Each time, his stroke symptoms were intensified. He was not eligible for tPA and we had a series of problems with health care. I am a take control, take action kind of person and knew that I would advocate for my brother. However, Healings in Motion helped me to understand possible resources and treatments that were available for my brother’s care. I also understand some of the emotional challenges my brother and I had to deal with. It is truly clear to me that when a stroke occurs it affects the entire family. It is disheartening to discover that African-Americans are three times more likely to have a stroke than Caucasians. However, the process has shifted my thinking to take stroke and risks that trigger a stroke, like high cholesterol seriously. I am now stroke alert. It really can happen to anyone.
More recently, my surrogate mom had a stroke. She doesn’t have a daughter and relies on me often to do tasks for her. I am told that God never gives you more than you can handle. I have faith that this is true. In the meantime, Healings in Motion continues to share useful resources, encouragement and inspiration for me.