Javier Lagunas, a caregiver for BrightStar Care of South San Fernando Valley in California rightfully earned the title of 2016 BrightStar Care West Caregiver of the Year for his outstanding service and friendship he provides each of his clients. Javier was nominated for this title by one of his clients who says, “His gift has changed the lives of my entire family, but his effortless grace, dedication, and constant friendship have made John whole. We are forever grateful to Javier and BrightStar.” Not only has Javier become someone the family can truly rely on to care for their loved one, but also a friend and member of their family. Javier even joins them on holidays and at family functions. Watch the highlight video from the day he found out he was named a regional winner and finalist for the national award, see the photos from the national award ceremony, and read the nomination letter that earned him that honor. Congratulations, Javier, and thank you for your continued dedication and friendship you show your clients every day.
The National Caregiver of the Year Award Ceremony
Javier Lagunas, 2016 BrightStar Care West Caregiver of the Year
2016 BrightStar Care Regional Caregivers of the Year
The Nomination Letter
WRITTEN BY GEORGIA B.
My son John's closest friend and biggest ally is his regular BrightStar caregiver, Javier Lagunas. Javier started caregiving for John last fall when he (Javier) was only 21, full decade younger than John. John was just transitioning home after almost a year in the hospital recovering and rehabilitating from a horrific big rig accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury affecting every facet of his life -- to this day, he has significant cognitive deficits as well as weakness in his vision and left side. John requires 24-hour care.
From the first day Javier came to work with John, he jumped right in -- making John at ease and giving the rest of our family huge comfort in the knowledge that John was safe in Javier's care, and also having fun with a buddy.
Within a very short time, John and Javier were on their own schedule, with Javier driving John to his rehab hospital each weekday and taking John to service dog classes as well as lunch and movies or plays on the weekend. Javier has joined us for every holiday, and comes on family outings regularly, which enables John to participate but still be independent -- of utmost importance to any disabled adult.
But the most amazing demonstration of BrightStar care was yet to come.
Just after the New Year, my husband Randy was diagnosed with a recurrence of his very rare cancer, and he and I moved to Houston, Texas. We were gone for more than 3 months so Randy could resume treatment with his original oncologists.
John returned to his rehab hospital from Monday through Friday while we were gone, but every Friday Javier picked him up and brought him home for the weekend. During our absence, Javier trained John's other caregivers, and I was (and remain) John's point person communicating with the BrightStar LVN who comes to the house to refill pill boxes bi-weekly, therapists, doctors, our service dog trainer, and family/friends to make appointments and arrange gatherings. He takes John to museums, the zoo, Disneyland, the gym, and theatre events, always completely in sync with John's medical and social needs.
Javier's maturity, sense of humor, and work ethic have allowed him to give John a very full life when he has been solely in charge of John's well-being and safety.
Until very recently, John was incontinent, but Javier handled that issue and attendant complications with such grace and ease that John was never self-conscious or embarrassed. Javier decided when John no longer needed "pull-ups" overnight and during the day. Only he could have made that decision, because only he was aware of how John was doing in that regard on a daily basis. In addition, John has needed his wheelchair or cane to go any distance. Javier has made sure John spends time outdoors and takes walks to a nearby park daily, always encouraging him to be independent and active but providing back-up when needed. Javier has also greatly contributed to John's progress in conversing, as he and John chat and joke with one another constantly about sports, current events, and everything else under the sun.
Javier has a talent in giving care that reflects incredibly well on BrightStar. His gift has changed the lives of my entire family, but his effortless grace, dedication, and constant friendship have made John whole. We are forever grateful to Javier and BrightStar.