2018 Caregiver of the Year | West Region

Queen-Ann Canty

West Region

Tucson, AZ Office

Queen-Ann's compassionate and attentive care help her client, Cecil, live life to the fullest. Cecil says, "I am forever grateful to her. None of my adult children live near me, so I rely on Queen-Ann to help me. She is a blessing."

Nomination Letter

Written by Cecil N., Queen-Ann's client and husband of late client

My name is Cecil. I am 92 years old a retired Army officer from West Point. My wife, Pat and I, hired BrightStar Care in 2011 because Pat needed assistance with dressing, light housekeeping and meal preparation. We started out with 3 hours, 1 day per week. We quickly saw the benefit of having these “BrightStars” in our home and increased to 2 days a week, and then 3 days per week. In March of 2014, I was admitted to the hospital and Allyn & Michelle immediately implemented my “Plan B” binder and provided 24/7 care for Pat until I could be released from the hospital. While I was away from home, it was so reassuring to know that my wife was well cared for each day. I could focus on myself getting better. And I did. Once I was strong enough, we reduced the schedule again to 6-12 hours per day.

Over the next several years, BrightStar Care successfully initiated our “Plan B” numerous times due to my own medical issues requiring hospitalizations. Again, even if it was 3:00 AM with paramedics standing over me, one call to BrightStar Care and I knew Pat would be well tended to while I was away. Our BrightStar Care employees were so flexible and considerate to have their schedules change from one week to the next, even one day to the next. We would go from 12 hours to 24 hours and back to 12 hours many, many times. The caregivers never complained about our ever-changing needs and schedules. Pat and I had the pleasure of meeting numerous BrightStar Care employees over the past 7 years. They were ALL wonderful to Pat and me.

By 2016, after heart surgery, I too became a client of BrightStar Care. I was required to attend several doctor appointments in Tucson and hour and a half from home and my medical conditions did not allow me to make the drive unaided. Once again, BrightStar Care came to my rescue and drove me to and from those appointments, while a second caregiver remained at home with Pat. Like I said, the employees were wonderful and I can give you so many of their names, but there is always one that stands in front of the rest. For Pat and I, that would have to be and amazing young lady named Queen-Ann Canty. Yes, you heard that right, her name is Queen-Ann and she is ROYALTY in our home; but you would never suspect that, because she is so humble as she serves our needs. Queen-Ann is gracious, polite, soft-spoke, kind, loving, patient, observant, caring, considerate, thoughtful, respectful and hard-working. Immediately, we were fond of her. She would see things around the house that needed to be done without being asked. She notices things about our health and reports appropriately to the Director of Nursing so we can be seen by our physician before it gets worse.

Each year, Pat’s medical conditions caused her more pain and disability. As her health declined, Queen-Ann could tell just by looking at Pat whether it was time to rest or when Pat would be able to get up with Queen-Ann’s help. She was so attentive to Pat’s needs. Our goal was to allow Pat to remain home and keep her out of a nursing home. With BrightStar Care and Queen-Ann’s help we were able to achieve that goal. By January 2017, at was significantly handicapped and required  highly qualified personal care. She was placed on Hospice at home. My daughter Nancy and I are grateful that Queen-Ann supported our entire family and encouraged us to sit with Pat and share our love and thoughts with her. She gave us strength to go through something none of us had ever faced before. Queen-Ann collaborated with the Hospice nurse, which helped Pat significantly as her health deteriorated rapidly. Despite everyone realizing that Pat was failing, after sixty-five years of marriage, I was having a hard time seeing her slip away. As I sat by Pat’s bedside, Queen-Ann sensed my fear of letting go and whispered in my ear to tell pat – “I will be okay and I’m in good hands – it’s alright for you to go now.” I said it, and with tears in her eyes, fifteen minutes later, my beloved passed away.

Queen-Ann helped me at the most difficult time of my life. I have retained Queen-Ann as my primary caregiver ever since my wife passed. Queen-Ann has helped me through the grieving process. Last Thanksgiving and Christmas 2017 was my fist holiday season without Pat, and Queen-Ann adjusted her own schedule to be with me, even though she has her own children at home and a husband who is serving for our military in Korea. Now Queen-Ann is helping me with anything and everything that I need. She is there for me. She is attentive and astute at recognizing my needs. She watched me constantly. As my age advances, my own frailty is more evident. I have fallen when I had no caregiver with me, so now I use a walker and Queen-Ann never leaves my side. I feel so secure with her. She takes me to balance classes and makes me keep moving. She’s a great cook and makes sure I get to all my  doctor appointments. As a retired military officer, I can be a bit bossy and bark out orders, but Queen-Ann cares for me with grace and she politely refers to me as “Sir” every day. I tell her to call me Cecil, but she won’t. I admire her respect for me. She works diligently to keep my house clean and in order, something I am not physically able to do. It must be so difficult for her to work so hard for me and then go home and do it all again for her own family because her husband is deployed.

I am forever grateful to her. None of my adult children live near me, so I rely on Queen-Ann to help me. She is a blessing. We could not have made it the past seven years without BrightStar Care and especially Queen-Ann. She is undoubtedly the one who will help me achieve MY goal now – to remain home until the time comes to see my Pat again.

Thank you, BrightStar Care for sending me your best – Queen-Ann.