A father living with ALS in Austin, Texas, will receive much needed care — and his son much needed relief and a chance at a healthcare career — courtesy of the local newspaper’s Season for Caring program, BrightStar Care of Austin, and Hospice Austin.
Each year, The Austin Statesman raises funds to aid families in the community and allocates funds to local organizations. Hospice Austin received some of the funds, nominated Marcelo Gracia, a 45-year-old man on hospice who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, to receive care, then selected BrightStar Care of Austin to provide the care in Marcelo’s home.
Video credit: KAKW-TV Noticias 62
Read the story from The Austin Statesman.
Marcelo was a construction worker in 2010 when he noticed he was struggling to work and losing control of his legs. He now can barely move and lives with his 24-year old son Gael, who is his primary caregiver. Every day, Gael picks up his dad out of bed, bathes him, feeds him, takes him to the bathroom, and carries him down the stairs of their second-floor apartment. In order to make a living, Gael works at a Laundromat five days a week. While Gael is at work, Marcelo is home alone unable to ambulate on his own, go to the bathroom or even feed himself — until now.
Season for Caring, Hospice Austin, and BrightStar Care are providing a BrightStar Care caregiver to help out while Gael is at work. This caregiver will ensure that Marcelo is fed, assist with personal needs, and help him to bed, giving Marcelo dignity and Gael peace of mind.
The story gets sweeter. While Gael has not received any formal training, George Sanchez, owner of BrightStar Care of Austin, thinks he is a natural caregiver. Gael’s attentiveness and competency taking care of his dad impresses George, so BrightStar Care of Austin is giving Gael a full scholarship to go to Certified Nurse Aide training school with promise of employment with the local franchise upon completion of his needed certifications.
“He is exactly what we look for in caregivers to hire and represent the BrightStar Care brand,” George said.
On December 7, in front of his father, BrightStar Care surprised Gael with his scholarship. Local media, including The Statesman and TV station KAKW, were there to cover the scholarship presentation.
“Thank you so much,” Gael Gracia said when he received the gift.
“I just try my best to be able to care for my dad. That’s mainly what I do.”
Thanks to Season for Caring, Hospice Austin, and BrightStar Care of Austin, Gael’s father will receive the care he needs, and Gael will get the chance to share his talent for caring with others.
For more information about BrightStar Care home care services or working for BrightStar Care, please call 866.618.7827 or search for a location near you.