2017 Caregiver of the Year | Southeast Region

Molly Hawkins

Southeast Region

Louisville, KY Office

Molly has made a lasting impact on two families for the compassionate care of their aging parents. “Molly was the sweetest answer to my prayers, a shining example of someone who made a remarkable difference in the life of my mother and our family,” said one grateful daughter.

Nomination Letters

Written by Richard D., son of one of Molly's clients

My father, Richard Doyle, adoringly known as "Granddaddy" to all, is a disabled Korean War veteran, who now spends his days inside, bound to his wheelchair. About five years ago, Granddaddy lost his bride, Norma, of sixty years, and it was around that time he lost his mobility and independence as well.

Though Granddaddy lives in an in-law suite attached to our home, my wife and I both work, so we called in BrightStar to assist my father with activities of daily living, and to provide him with some companionship. Granddaddy received just that from several wonderful caregivers over the years, but last year, he met Molly Hawkins.

Molly's personality is a brilliant balance of tough and tender — she uses the time she has with my father well, while enabling him to maintain some sense of control, which is something he truly craves. Molly doesn't simply work for Granddaddy, she works with him, whether she's compiling a grocery list, planning or preparing meals, or simply tidying up his living space. She has developed a friendship with him that allows her to read him; Molly knows when she walks into the room what kind of a mood Granddaddy is in and just how to handle it. She is respectful of his time and boundaries, and truly brings the outside world in to him. Whether they are simply sitting on the porch watching the birds, or discussing current events, Molly listens and engages with Granddaddy on his level, and has given him back some of the freedom he feels he lost years ago.

I could say that what makes Molly special is that she consistently goes above and beyond, but in all honesty, BrightStar has supplied us with several caregivers for Granddaddy over the years that exceed our expectations. What sets Molly apart is that she continually surpasses what is considered to be above and beyond. The way she sees and serves my father is extraordinary. She has a knack for noticing the little things, like when his back is hurting especially bad, how he enjoys watching Pawn Stars, and his love for eating cake at every meal. Every couple of days, she will bring him over a fresh baked cake that she made for him in her free time.

When my father found out that BrightStar awards a caregiver of the month, he called Chris McCutcheon, the owner, directly on a weekly basis to nominate Molly for the award. One week, as he was making his usual phone call, Chris noticed Granddaddy sounded a bit weaker than usual, and was able to alert us to call an ambulance. We discovered my dad had pneumonia and a UTI, all because of a phone call he made to brag about Molly.

The way Molly intentionally learns, listens to, and loves on Granddaddy is such a gift to our entire family. She has given him back his joy, his freedom, and his independence, and simultaneously given us the peace of mind that he is in excellent and capable hands.

Written by Karen L., daughter of one of Molly's clients

When I heard of this award, I immediately knew I had to nominate Molly Hawkins. She was such an incredible caregiver for my mother up until she died in July. Molly was there on weekdays from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm, or later if needed. She was an immense help to my father, my mother's main caregiver, and our whole family.
I would be by to visit for a few hours on various days while Molly was there.

Molly treated my mother just like she was her own mother. She patiently endured the afternoons my mother wasn't in the best mood. She prepared my mother the most delectable lunches, which Mama would nibble on all afternoon. As Mama's swallowing abilities became more difficult, Molly still managed to create plates of foods that agreed with her. She was always ready to help out with anything that came up...from cleaning a spot on the carpet to folding clean clothes.

Lifting and transferring Mama from bed to recliner was never a problem for her. Last summer, Mama still loved to sit out on the deck in the sunshine on warm days. Molly was always willing to take her outside and sit with her, for however long Mama wanted, even if it was sweltering heat. To say Mama liked her room to be warm...winter, spring, summer, and fall....is an understatement. Molly never adjusted the air temperature unless asked to do so.

Mama was very focused on, loving, and making conversation with her dolls and stuffed animals during her last year. Molly was adept at giving her just the doll/animal needed at a given time and carrying on the conversations from her end.

My dearest memory of Molly caring for my mother was one afternoon that I arrived as she was washing her hair. Mind you, my mother, who was sitting in her recliner, and has never cared for water to drip on her face, was basically sleeping through it all. Molly had the dishpan of water, a washcloth, and a comb. She has already washed Mama's hair, and was very carefully running a wet comb through her hair, then rinsing the comb and doing the next little section...over and over...until no more soap was on the comb, and she was ready to blow dry Mama's hair. And after that tedious process her hair was beautiful. I wish I could say that I could have done it 1/4 as well.

When Mama was in and out of the hospital the last several months of her life, Molly was always willing to come and sit with her as requested on a given afternoon. Mama's visitation and funeral service were in Elizabethtown on June 22. I looked across and saw Molly and her mother standing in the line. I couldn't believe they drove all the way to E'town for her service, but that's just the kind of person Molly is. She is dedicated, compassionate, caring, creative, flexible, skilled in nursing, patient beyond words, and has a servant's heart.

I could continue for many paragraphs. Please know Molly is very deserving of this award, and I am more than able to give her a glowing reference is ever needed for anything. Thank you, BrightStar, for blessing our family with such an outstanding-in-every-way caregiver.