The Chelsea Jewish Foundation (CJF) is proud to announce that Sara Cutelis, a registered nurse at the Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCL), recently was honored with the Leading Age Massachusetts 2012 “Heart and Hands” award.
The “Heart and Hands” award is given to an individual who goes beyond the basic job description – someone who forms special relationships with residents that enrich their quality of life.
Sara certainly did that and more when she led the care team for LFCL resident Patrick O’Brien on a monumental trip to Disney World. The outing was carefully planned for seven of the ALS residents at the Center. However, it was determined that one patient with the most severe case of ALS, Patrick O’Brien, would be unable to make the flight to Florida.
Sara was undeterred and organized the proceedings so they could rent a Winnebago and drive to their destination: a 27-hour journey that required Patrick to be suctioned periodically, repositioned every two hours, monitored constantly. She did the same five days later on the return trip.
On the second day of that trip to Orlando, Patrick was reunited with his 4-year-old son at Disney.
“He was able to feel the touch of his son’s hand on his, watch him laugh and smile on rides, and experience the enchanting Christmas lights that take over Disney parks at night,” explained Kristen Donnelly, Walk Director at LFCL. She added, “Sara creates an environment where residents become family members and where an ALS unit becomes a home. We are extremely proud of her.”
Sara Cutelis has worked at the Leonard Florence Center for Living since its opening in February 2010. She graduated from Boston College.