This past month one of our Individuals was admitted to the hospital and has been in ICU since. At this current time, it appears that he is going to be okay but will most likely have to go to rehabilitation before going home. Since the individuals in our Individualized Supports Program are mostly independent, we don’t necessarily know immediately when they go to the hospital if they decide not to tell their support team. This particular person also does not have any family members that are involved and so he relies solely on his support team. We were notified on a Tuesday that he was in ICU by the medical team and had been there since Sunday.
After Leah found this out and knew that he was okay, the next thing that came to her mind, which is the most important thing in his life, was his cat, Smokey! So, Leah “doing what’s right by her client,” knew that her client must be in the ICU worrying about Smokey this entire time. At this point it had already been 3 days that the Smokey was without food and water and it just happened to be the first heat wave in June. Leah did not think twice and after finishing up with the current individual she was with, drove right out to Clinton and spoke with the building manager who was able to access his apartment to feed Smokey, give him water, change his litter box, and make sure the temperature in the apartment was comfortable.
From there, Leah went the following day to visit her client in the ICU and due to being intubated he was unable to speak, but when she informed him that Smokey was okay and that she went to take care of him and will continue to do so until he gets home, tears streamed down his face. He was so happy knowing that his cat was being taken care of and not starving in the apartment or given to a shelter to never be returned again. I would at the least say, Leah is going the extra mile by taking care of Smokey 3 days a week, treating her clients with dignity, and delivering legendary service. So for now, since Leah is not providing case management to this individual, she has taken on case management for the cat. She has even offered to go on the weekends. We don’t know how long this individual will be away from home, but there is no question we will ensure he comes home to Smokey! Leah has gone above and beyond her call of duty and that’s what makes for a great employee!