2019 Caregiver of the Year | Northeast Region

Heather Bailey

Northeast Region

Pittsburgh, PA Office

Caregiver Helps Her Client Stand After Surgery

After a difficult surgery and recovery, Heather helped her client stand on his own two feet again – literally. Under her guidance, her client stood again for the first time. It was all part of Heather’s mission to bring a sense of normalcy back to his life. She also made an impact on the little things, like helping him return to his favorite chair in the family room to watch TV and resume his honorary title of “Mayor of the Neighborhood” from his front porch. “These little milestones are tremendous markers during what has been an incredibly difficult journey,” says Rose, wife of the client. “My husband was told at various times that he would die, that he would be in a persistent vegetative state, or that he would be relegated to long-term care for the rest of his life. Not only is he alive, he is thriving and getting stronger every day! Heather has made this possible."

Nomination Letter

Written by Rose S., wife of client

Heather Bailey fit into our family the second she walked in our front door! She is energetic, funny, smart, organized, deeply committed to patient care, and extremely competent and efficient at everything she does. 

My husband had been in and out of hospitals and skilled nursing facilities following a Type A aortic dissection last September. The first day Heather was home with my husband she maneuvered him and his wheelchair down three steps from our main floor to our sunken family room so he could sit in his favorite armchair and watch TV. I burst into tears. It was the first time my husband had a moment of normalcy since this ordeal began. 

She was fearless in getting him outside to sit on the front porch where he has resumed his role as the “Mayor of the Neighborhood,” as his presence prompts neighbors to come by and visit. She was able to get him to go grocery shopping where he picked out flowers for me. Most recently, he had his first lunch out at a restaurant in 10 months! Within the first week of coming home, Heather got him out for the first time to an outdoor concert where he was able to hear our daughter sing. In June, she got him to Mt. Washington to attend our daughter's graduation party. 

These little milestones are tremendous markers during what has been an incredibly difficult journey. My husband was told at various times that he would die, that he would be in a persistent vegetative state, or that he would be relegated to long-term care for the rest of his life. Not only is he alive, he is thriving and getting stronger every day! Heather has made this possible. 

My husband also stood for the first time on his own two legs, supporting himself with a pole, under Heather's guidance. She does everything with him, from personal care to physical therapy, cognitive therapy, and occupational therapy. We all love her. She has become a member of our family because she treats us all like her family. Her commitment is unparalleled. When she is here, I am calm and confident. I do not worry. I know my husband is receiving the best possible care and attention. I can do my work, visit with my children, and even take care of myself – with Heather’s strong encouragement. She is the model of a superior caregiver. I cannot thank her enough for bringing my husband back to me and for helping us all define a new normal. I have met a number of caregivers – no one comes close to this woman. Thank you, Heather, and thank you BrightStar Care, for bringing this exceptional woman to us!