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Teamwork and caring

Author: By Kayley Mendenhall, 10/21/2014 9:01:00 AM

On Aug. 24, a group of 25 to 30 caregivers from the Rehab and nursing teams volunteered their time to help Acute Care and Inpatient Rehab Supervisor Mindy Laidlaw with some projects that needed attention at her home.

They worked to repair her sprinkler system so she no longer needed to water her plants by hand. Some helped organize her personal office. Others painted two rooms, switched out light fixtures inside and out, secured the dishwasher and so much more.

“It was overwhelming and so touching,” Laidlaw said of the effort extended by her fellow caregivers.

The work party was the inspired idea of Blair Staley, a house supervisor at St. Charles Bend and Laidlaw’s neighbor. When Laidlaw’s 19-year-old daughter Taylor was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer earlier this year, Staley said she noticed that Mindy was having a hard time juggling the many out-of-town trips for medical care and wasn’t able to keep up at home.

“She is always doing things for someone else,” Staley said. “She is always cooking for the team, bringing in food. She takes care of everyone.”

Staley decided it was Mindy’s turn to be the recipient of care for a change. She emailed some members of the Rehab team and before she knew it dozens of people had signed up to help. They created a board with Post-it notes for each item that needed attention. Volunteers would grab a note that matched their skills, fix the problem and head back to the board for another task. The group completed two weeks worth of projects in just a couple of hours.

“They are heartfelt, connected caregivers,” Mindy said. “They knew that for me, if I could not have to focus on doing all of those things, I could focus on Taylor.”

While Mindy and her family have many challenges ahead of them, she is eternally grateful for the support of her colleagues and their incredible dedication to living the St. Charles values of caring and teamwork.

For updates on Taylor Laidlaw, visit the Pray for Taylor Laidlaw page on Facebook.