Sarah Endy is a registered nurse based out of Anchorage, Alaska; she has been with Maxim since 2014 and is well-known for her dedication to her patients, diligence in her work and her role as a mentor to her fellow nurses. Based on her hard work, it’s no surprise that Sarah has been chosen as the West Region recipient for Maxim Healthcare’s Caregiver of the Year Award!
Each year, Maxim Healthcare awards its staff members with one of the highest honors it can bestow: The Caregiver of the Year Award. This prestigious award recognizes nurses and/or home healthcare aides for the exceptional service they provide by delivering quality, patient-centered care to some of the most medically-fragile and chronically-ill patients across the United States.
On June 12, 2017, Sarah was assigned to work with Edgar, a patient who was diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a condition in which the diaphragm does not fully form which causes the abdominal organs to push up into the patient’s chest cavity – Edgar was only five months old.
Sarah has been with Edgar and his family since his diagnosis. She commutes more than 100 miles every day to provide home nursing care. At the time, five-month-old Edgar came home on a ventilator, had a tracheostomy tube (trach) that required frequent suctioning to keep his airway clear, and a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) for feeding. These devices require special care and cleaning, as they can be easily clogged and stop functioning properly. Managing a trach and G-tube can be difficult for many adults, let alone a baby like Edgar.
One such instance occurred for Edgar – his trach became plugged, causing him to vomit while he was on his back, putting him at severe risk of choking. Edgar needed an emergency trach change; while trach changes in general are common for trach users, emergency changes can be alarming and traumatic, especially for young patients. Thanks to Sarah’s quick instincts and medical training, she was able to immediately react, completing the trach change, clearing Edgar’s airway and allowing him to breathe again.
Today, Edgar is a thriving five-year-old who will soon be graduating from Maxim’s services – he has been slowly weaned off his ventilator, no longer needing it during the day and is close to not needing it at all during the night. With Edgar relying less and less on intensive medical care in his day-to-day life, Sarah will soon be leaving him and his family.
“It definitely is bittersweet,” Sarah said. “But it feels great to know that Edgar has gone from a fragile baby to a strong little guy.”
Sarah’s dedication to nursing is inspiring; in addition to her work with Edgar and his family, she fills in for other critical cases at Maxim’s Anchorage office. With her experience as an emergency room and homecare nurse, combined with her natural caregiving instincts, Sarah is often relied upon as the go-to training source for new nurses. She focuses on vital skills such as proper ventilator care, and special support for pediatric patients.
Edgar’s family is grateful to have Sarah in their lives, caring for their son. They said she exceeds expectations with her attention to detail, instinctive action and dedication to Edgar’s happiness and overall care. According to Edgar’s family, Sarah “has a heart of gold” and has “always shown that people matter to her.”
*Patient information and likeness featured with the consent of the patient/family