For as long as I can remember, I have had the natural instinct to take care of people, animals and all things living on this beautiful earth. This is something that comes so naturally to me, that I never thought twice about it nor did I think I’d actually be working in the healthcare field…I happen to have a ridiculous fear of needles and the tendency to faint at the sight of blood. After working in a pharmacy in high school, I ended up switching my major to Finance, taking the less commiserative route. After years of working in the fast-paced and very lucrative mortgage industry, the market crashed, I moved from Denver to Charleston, and happened to fall into the position of being a live-in caretaker.
In my few years as a caretaker, once for a lady being rehabilitated from a stroke and another who was paralyzed and living with a glioblastoma (brain cancer), I was immersed in the daily routine of the healthcare world. We had all types of people providing care such as in-home health, where wonderful therapists such as Jeb Barton and Jim Newell, both with Amedisys In-Home Health, would always come in with a smile and make each visit an exciting and positive experience. Then there were wonderful friends of mine who took time out of their day to come to the house to donate their love and services like Jennifer Maddox (hair stylist), Ali Carnevale (bundle of incredible joy), Demal Mattson (private chef), Diana Deaver (photographer) and Matt Hunter (chiropractor). These were the people we really enjoyed seeing and who left a lasting impression on all of us. Their kindness was appreciated beyond words and they all hold a very special place in our hearts.
One of the most difficult things about being a caretaker to someone who is terminally ill, is to witness how their spouse and families deal with the daily cloud that remains, and sometimes overshadows the fact that the patient is still alive and able to enjoy many things in life. I learned that being spontaneous, having positive and energetic people around and talking to them as if they were not sick, almost makes them forget about their illness. Getting out and enjoying life regardless of any illness, is a must and can even assist in becoming well again. It’s also extremely important for the caretakers to have their opportunity to breathe, escape from the reality of their loved one’s illness and enjoy life as well. Caretakers tend to be overlooked in these situations with all focus being on the patient, leaving them to deal privately with the stress of watching their loved one suffer as well as the additional responsibility of attending to their needs. Many of the caretakers I have been so fortunate to learn from, are some of the most exceptional people that I know. They are a true testament of enduring love…held to a higher regard in my book and are credited with changing my life forever.
I am thrilled to announce that Audrey Whetsell and her team over at Resource Partners, have launched The Medi Awards, in order to honor incredible people in the caretaking and healthcare fields. The Medi is comprised of a series of events that are designed to bring the medical community together by way of Patient Centered Neighborhoods. Patient Centered Neighborhoods bridge the gap between physicians, other medical professionals and the patient by enabling them to use technology to keep them on the same page and knowledgeable as to all of the care being provided for the patient at all times. Events include medical forums in different cities, which allows companies to speak as to how their company can be involved in becoming part of this community to ensure the best level of care and communication for their patients. All companies and individuals are welcome to join, become a vendor, donate, sponsor and nominate incredible individuals to be recognized at The Medi Awards. The first medical forum and golf tournament is set to take place at The Ballantyne Hotel & Golf Club the weekend of June 20, 2014. The Medi Awards Event will take place in 2015 with the date being announced later in the year. You may also inquire through our website as well by clicking here.
For more info on getting involved please visit TheMedi.org and fill out the contact form or click here to register for one of the upcoming medical event forums or golf tournament. You may also donate to the cause or sponsor by visiting their website. The Medi Awards is a fiscally sponsored project of United Charitable Programs, a registered 501c-3 public charity.
Always remember to love your life and enrich the life of others around you. Life is precious and it’s much more rewarding when we have compassion for each other and give even when we don’t feel like it. Don’t wait until tomorrow to tell someone they are loved or to show them that you care…and always cherish those who make the world a brighter place.