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Healthcare Heroes



Submitted by:
Jo Singleton

Have you ever met someone who makes you feel happy just by being around them? That’s Carissa! When Kyla began to physically decline in 2020, Dr. Lindhorst ordered for her to receive Occupational Therapy at home and Carissa was assigned to see Kyla. They instantly clicked. Not only did Carissa teach Kyla exercises to help her be as independent as possible, but she became a confidant for Kyla. They would talk and laugh and even sometimes cry together. Kyla looked forward to her time with Carissa each week. Eventually, Kyla was discharged from home therapy to be able to attend outpatient therapy services.

In 2021, we needed Carissa to come back to see Kyla and this time help with some accommodations to allow as much independence as possible for her but also teach some transfer techniques to us. Kyla had declined tremendously at this time but Carissa never treated her differently. She was the same exact Carissa to Kyla as she had always been. Accepting, loving, and fun. Carissa taught Kyla how to eat with a special device to hold her silverware and recommended special dishes with a curved lip to minimize spills. This allowed us to eat dinner as a family despite the physical challenges Kyla was enduring. Carissa brought in an item called a pivot disk that would make things easier for us to transfer Kyla. This was a life changer as it made trips to the Dr. easier and everyday life at home too. Something as simple as this small rotating disk changed our lives entirely.

In home care providers come into your nitty gritty. They see the struggles you’re having in your reality. And I will forever be grateful to Carissa for helping us make our time with Kyla just a tad bit easier. But, on top of that, was the way Carissa TREATED Kyla. You see, Kyla’s appearance changed a lot due to medications and treatments. She was insecure about this, even though she was the most beautiful girl in the world. Carissa never treated Kyla any differently. They became friends and shared funny stories together. It made me happy to see Kyla interact with Carissa like she did.

In Kyla’s final days, Carissa came to see her. She and another therapist bought Kyla a lovely sunflower lamp that would remain on during her final moments on Earth. And they gave Kyla and I matching sunflower bracelets that I will treasure forever. Carissa, thank you for loving my girl. You are truly a healthcare hero in my eyes because of who you are and your beautiful and caring heart.