“When you are a caregiver, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” Anonymous
House of Three is fortunate to have the best caregivers in Arkansas. Breanna Ward, certified nurse assistant, has been on the Northwest Arkansas House of Three team since July 2019. She has been working as a CNA for twenty-two years in between home-care and dementia units in nursing homes. She loves caring for people with dementia and alzheimers. This week we sat down with Breanna for a Q&A about what she loves about her job and how it compares to her previous bigger facility jobs.
Q: What are the pros of being a caregiver at House of Three?
A: “I receive more appreciation and recognition at House of Three than I ever received in larger facilities. Because of regulations in nursing homes, it’s harder to get to know families. I don’t get burned out like I did in nursing homes because I don’t feel overloaded with too many people to care for.”
Q: What challenges did you face in the nursing home setting?
A: “It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the workload. I would feel defeated on a daily basis. When I would lay down at night and think back on my day, I felt like I couldn’t do enough for my patients. CNAs are expected to be on a schedule and stay efficient so we can get to everyone. Honestly, it feels like a factory. I would see residents that I was close to and would want to spend good quality time with them, especially if they were having a hard day, but I wouldn’t have the time to sit and comfort them. Also, so many families want particular things done for their loved one and they complain to superiors and then the staff gets reprimanded.”
Q: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to become a caregiver?
A: “Forget everything you learn in the classroom. They will tell you to not become attached because the people you care for will soon die. In my opinion, if you can’t connect emotionally then you’re in the wrong field. Care says it ALL in our line of work. Understand that some circumstances around you are not your fault. If you are going to work in a nursing home facility, try not to become discouraged. Keep doing your best and know that you are enough.”
Q: What are some of the highlights of your day?
A: “I feel so fulfilled emotionally. I go to bed at night feeling accomplished. I have the privilege to watch a resident work on a puzzle or watch a movie with them. It’s like I get a flashback into their lives because I get to see what really interests them. I enjoy the connections I make with the families. Christmas was so much fun! Everyone came to our home to celebrate and open gifts. There’s a true sense of family. Families are constantly reaching out to me and they get that immediate update on how the day is going. More than anything you get to see the little things and make those stronger, personal connections.”
We want to thank Breanna for sharing her experiences with us.
House of Three is always looking for great caregivers to help care for our residents. For more information, please visit us at www.houseofthree.net.
On Monday night, December 30th, my wife, Laura, and our college-aged son, Reece, enjoyed a meal at our local Mexican restaurant in Lonoke. The small restaurant, Mariachi Grill, sits next to I-40 and is frequented by our family. Evidently, our familiarity with the tasty food was apparent.
As we were finishing up and leaving, a couple stopped me to ask for a menu suggestion.
After sharing our favorite dishes, our conversation turned and they began to tell me their reason for passing through our small Lonoke town of 4,000. They were traveling back to their home in Nashville, Tennessee after coordinating the care of the husband’s 90-year-old mother in Dallas. They chose to spend the night in Lonoke as they were going to visit Rose City, a community on the east side of North Little Rock. Within minutes, we realized that the wife had grown up right next to the church where my grandparents had attended so many years ago.
I told her of another Dallas resident from Rose City, NFL Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. That bit of unknown trivia delighted her. She was looking forward to reminiscing as she visited the community where she had spent part of her childhood. They had stopped to spend the night in Lonoke so their drive to Rose City would be short the next morning.
It was an easy and enjoyable conversation. So easy that they asked if I was a politician. I chuckled and said, “Well, I am on the Lonoke City Board. Is that considered a politician?”
Our conversation then took another turn.
I was delighted to share House of Three with them and of our work in creating homes where our aged residents are able to receive the compassionate care and enjoyment of living in a neighborhood home.
The wife turned to her husband and said, “Take that one hundred dollar bill out of your pocket and give it to this man.”
I was taken aback. I told them that I so appreciated their interest in our concept of aging with respect and intimate care, but discouraged them from giving the money. They were insistent and said that they had created a foundation to allow them to do such acts – to give to “good people.” They said they could tell I was one of those. I was humbled.
As they told me the money could be used by me any way I saw fit, an idea I had never considered began to formulate. At the House of Three, holidays are always celebrated with treats to eat or activities to enjoy, but I had never marked the coming of another year, with the exception of serving the traditional black-eyed peas. Perhaps, this was the year for something new! I told them of my idea. With the one hundred dollars I would purchase champagne for our House of Three family members within the Little Rock homes and all could enjoy some bubbly on New Year’s Eve provided by the “good people” from Nashville. Their gift would bring cheer to five homes as fifteen residents celebrate the entrance of 2020. This generous couple loved the idea!
I do not know if this traveling couple considers themselves to be philanthropists. I definitely consider them to be “good people” who inspire others.
I was inspired. Inspired to make connections with strangers in 2020. Inspired to share stories of the goodness of giving and the acts of thoughtfulness. I am inspired to give, just as they gave to me; as they gave to our House of Three Seniors!
“What do we do now?” This is a question that families often ask when faced with a quick decision on how to provide long-term care for an aging loved one.
Decisions regarding long-term care are difficult for families. They often have to make life-changing decisions when their loved one’s health or mental or physical abilities have suddenly declined. Assisted living facilities may require a move when one’s mobility has diminished or behavior issues arise. An injury from a fall or debilitating illness places one in the hospital or a rehabilitation center and due to limited recovery, their previous living arrangements are no longer an option. Quick decisions often have to be made on where their loved one will now live.
Many are unaware of the House of Three care home option where individuals needing long-term care can live together in a home. Our homes are in a neighborhood where three residents have their own private bedroom and a shared caregiver that’s always there for them. Home cooked meals, assistance with daily living activities, and a 3-to-1 resident-to-caregiver ratio allows for quick response and caregiving tailored to the needs and wants of the residents and their families. That’s why we consider the House of Three to be “The Family Solution to Long-Term Care”.
So, before your family is faced with such a decision, consider life at a House of Three. A home where three residents with various levels of independence from needing assistance, to full care, to end-of-life care find compassionate care. A home filled with activity and constant care that is required for disabled seniors who may be experiencing dementia, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s or declining health.
The Renaud family experienced this first-hand when they faced a quick decision in the care and living arrangements for Terry Ann Renaud. About four years ago, Terry Ann experienced an illness that impeded her mobility and ability to return home. The Renaud family discovered the House of Three. It was their Family Solution to Long-Term Care.
Terry Ann lived at the House of Three in Hot Springs for over three and a half years. Last month, our Terry Ann passed away. She is greatly missed. She was a precious soul that demonstrated love of family and concern for others.
A look at Terry Ann’s life at a House of Three may help others see how their loved one can continue to enjoy the natural rhythms of a home, develop friendships and receive the constant care they need.
With Terry Ann’s loss of mobility and the reality of requiring assistance with all daily living activities, she needed long-term care. Her independent living that she had experienced at her home in Arkadelphia with the aid of Group Living, Inc. was no longer an option. Though she had been in the hospital for an extended period of time, the announcement of her discharge date left the family asking, “What do we do now?”
Admittance to a nursing home was not what the family wanted for their daughter and sister. Terry Ann’s physician at UAMS suggested the family make contact with House of Three. He understood that 24-hour assistance was going to be necessary for Terry Ann and that she would need compassionate care coupled with family-like relationships within the home setting of a House of Three. The family did not know such an option existed.
Terry Ann was one of six children born to Terry and the late Betty Renaud. The Renauds are a close family with many nieces and nephews, lots of family gatherings, and Terry Ann loved them all. Throughout her adulthood, her family was attentive to Terry Ann’s unique needs and helped her live as independently as possible. The Renaud family found the House of Three to be their Family Solution to Long-Term Carefor Terry Ann.
After Terry Ann lived at House of Three for two years, her sister, Mary Ellen Ware, wrote: “House of Three has been an answer to many prayers from our family. Our developmentally disabled sister became gravely ill two years ago. Unable to walk, House of Three has cared for and loved her ever since. She is so happy. She calls it HER home. The caregivers are truly angels in disguise!!”
When Terry Ann arrived at her new home, her sisters were thorough with lists and suggestions that were invaluable to the caregivers as they got to know her routines and preferences. It did not take long to find out that Terry Ann loved routine. Having just three caregivers allowed her to be cared for by ones who understood her as an individual; her needs, her temperament, her heart. Her spacious suite lovingly decorated by her sisters with familiar furniture, family pictures, Razorback and I Love Lucy decor helped her transition to her new home.
And, oh, what a Razorback fan! There was a time in her life when she knew the name, number, and position of every football player on the team. There are likely few homes, much less care homes, that made any bigger celebrations on a game day than Hot Springs House of Three for Terry Ann. Dressed in one of her many Razorback t-shirts and decked out with her Arkansas jewelry, she would be ready for kick-off!
Terry Ann always looked forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays when she went to The Caring Place, a senior daycare center filled with activities for those experiencing Alzheimer’s and dementia. This bi-weekly outing was so important to her. The first words out of her mouth on these mornings were often, “I get to go to The Caring Place today!”
Terry Ann’s favorite visitor, besides family, was Father Bill Elser, pastor of the Hot Springs Village Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. Father Bill became acquainted with Terry Ann as he ministered to another of our residents, Ms. Alba, a longtime member at Sacred Heart. After our sweet Alba passed away, Father Bill continued his weekly Sunday visits and communion with Terry Ann. His loyalty and visits were incredibly precious to her.
Terry Ann developed relationships with fellow residents and families. Ms. Carolyn and Terry Ann spent over two years together at their House of Three home. Almost everyday as they were wheeled to the table, Terry Ann would ask, “How is my friend Carolyn?” When someone was ill or nearing their end of life, Terry Ann would show concern about their well-being and their family.
At her House of Three home, she loved to color, play the game Trouble, sit in her recliner and watch episodes of I Love Lucy and Andy Griffith. She also enjoyed flipping through family picture albums and telling all who would listen who were in the pictures. She liked making birthday cards for family members. And, she loved her fudgesicles (pronounced, “fudgicles” in Terry Ann talk). She liked pepperoni pizza, but whatever homecooked meal was prepared, Terry Ann always finished up with a clean plate.
But, it was her family she loved the most, and what a joy it was to watch them love and care for her. Going to “Dad’s” for Sunday brunch was her favorite outing. She loved dressing up and anticipated seeing a house full of family members.
I miss Terry Ann. Each evening, as I would leave the house and head home, Terry Ann would say, “Tell your wife I said, ‘Hi’.” I miss calling the Hogs with her. I will miss watching such a caring family love their sister. I am thankful and honored to have had the opportunity to get to know Terry Ann and the Renaud family.
I thank the Renaud family for letting me share a snapshot of Terry Ann’s life at House of Three. At the Hot Springs Bellaire House of Three home, we now, in so many ways, have an empty spot without Terry Ann. As the Bellaire home awaits for the next resident and family, I wish all would consider the House of Three option. It is The Family Solution to Long-Term Care.
Michael Smedley, Owner and Administrator of Hot Springs House of Three
In the community of Sheridan, Arkansas, there is a bustling, young, motivated thirty-three-year-old woman by the name of Emily Lawson. Sleep is a word that is probably not in her vocabulary. If you don’t know Emily, by the end of this post we hope you learn a little more about our youngest facilitator at House of Three.
Emily grew up 16 miles away from Sheridan in the little town of Leola. She attended college at Henderson State University and received her degree in Marketing. She furthered her education and earned her Masters in Business.
Emily worked for a couple of different companies before the House of Three opportunity came across her path. Her brother, Leigh Lawson, and sister-in-law, Courtney, met Koy in 2016. Courtney is a registered nurse and she and Leigh were looking into taking care of the elderly somehow. Leigh and Courtney opened House of Three in Sheridan in September 2016. Six months later they asked Emily to take over the home. If there is a need, Emily would love to open another home in Sheridan and possibly expand into the Benton area.
Even though Emily has been through a lot of schooling, she knew it would be a good thing to get her certified nurse assistant license. “Since I manage CNA’s, I wanted to get certified,” Emily said. To get your license, one has to attend three weeks of class and then work in nursing homes for clinicals. She finishes this week!
House of Three Sheridan is a family business. Emily’s mom, Sandy Lawson, is the house manager and helps with day-to-day tasks. Emily’s dad, Terry, comes by after work and helps with whatever needs to be done. He recently built some brand-new shelves for the home.
Each home has their own special stories. One of Sheridan’s first residents, Ms. Needra, had one special wish before she passed. She deeply wanted to attend her granddaughter’s wedding in Pine Bluff. Emily, Sandy and Ms. Needra’s family went with her as her date and caregivers. She passed one year after the wedding. When asked, “Emily, what’s one of your House of Three moments?”, she will tell you it was something Ms. Needra, at ninety, said when she was on her deathbed. She said, “Don’t wait around and not do things. Do all the things you want to do.” We can all take that advice to heart.
Another resident in Sheridan was fifty-nine-year-old Mike. For the duration of his time at House of Three, Mike would keep Emily company while she ran errands. Weekly, they frequented the pharmacy and Walmart. He was around her father’s age and they would talk about everything under the sun. Emily recalls very special conversations they shared. Mike is missed very much.
Mike proved to be a true gentleman with the other two residents that lived with him. Ms. Needra and Ms. Julia were two ninety-year-old ladies and, due to their aging bodies, needed more assistance. Mike was about thirty years younger so he stepped up and helped take care of their needs, such as putting their clothing protectors on before meals and pushing their chairs up to the table. Even though there was a large span between their ages, all three were the best of friends.
When Emily is not working around the clock at House of Three, she enjoys working with 8th grade girls at The Church at Rock Creek in Little Rock, traveling and foster care. The girls that are now in 8th grade have been with Emily for two years now. She moves up with them as they grow. All of the leaders are really close, too. They go camping, or glamping, once or twice a year. Air mattresses are a must for these ladies!
Each year Emily and her friend, Sara, go on an adventure together. Sometimes they go to different places and sometimes they like to revisit places that are familiar and cozy. She has been to Ireland, Jamaica, a cruise to Belize, and Mexico.
A new endeavor Emily has taken on is emergency foster care. She is available for kids that do not have a place to go in the middle of the night. Just this week she got a call for two kids to come to her house. They didn’t get to sleep until midnight and then had to get up and go to school the next morning.
It is evident Emily has a heart of gold and will go the extra mile for others. Next time you’re in Sheridan, stop by and say “hi” to Emily. You will be welcomed by her, or a caregiver and this lovely House of Three doormat she recently had made.
As always, if you are reading this and have a special person in your life that may be at the point of needing care, feel free to reach out to any facilitator close to their city. We are in Northwest Arkansas, Hot Springs, Little Rock and, of course, Sheridan. Visit us for more information at www.houseofthree.net and follow us on Facebook! House of Three is the family solution to long-term care.
Michael Smedley was very familiar with his daily work routine. Thirty years with the same company will definitely do that to someone. While he enjoyed the work at State Farm and the people whom he describes as “pillars in their community” and “somebody everybody knows”, Michael felt like he was checking boxes most days. After four different jobs within State Farm, there was a different path coming around the corner; he just wasn’t aware yet.
In June 2015, the health of Michael’s father was declining. He spent a lot of time caring for his father. This particular summer would prepare and transition Michael into his unforeseen, new career.
While Founder and CEO, Koy Butler, was finishing up his third house in Little Rock, Koy encouraged his brother-in-law, Michael, to provide House of Three care in Hot Springs. “For Kinsey and I to foster kids for fifteen years in our home, it just made sense to join in the House of Three mission; the kids are just older. It’s been a huge, positive change for me,” says Michael.
The first House of Three in Hot Springs opened in January 2016, and the second home opened two years ago last July.
When asked what his daily routine now looks like since becoming a facilitator, Michael responds, “In this job, I’m caring for people that can’t care for the basics of life; the things we take for granted ourselves. For example, I will put a spoon to someone’s mouth, get them dressed and assist them in showering.” He continues, “It doesn’t matter how much money you have once you lose those abilities. I’ve had so many residents that can’t speak a word to even say ‘thank you’. What I see is the look in their eyes. It shows their gratitude and what they want to say, and that’s really something.”
Michael says he felt appreciated at State Farm, but not like in his job at House of Three. He loves being a part of a company that is mission-minded. “It’s been a good fit and I get to work with my brother-in-law and be a part of his dream. My wife, Kinsey, is so supportive. My own kids have formed relationships with certain residents over the past three and a half years.”
Throughout every House of Three home, one thing remains number one: the residents. The facilitators ensure the residents are cared for by hiring quality caregivers. A perfect caregiver is one that loves their job and wants to make life simple and enjoyable for those in their sunset of life.
If a caregiver is not available, the facilitator must be there to cover. Some responsibilities are grocery shopping and cooking meals. Another side to being a facilitator is marketing their homes. Michael visits assisted living facilities, elder law attorneys, nursing homes, Hospice companies, rehab centers and medical equipment supply companies in the Hot Springs and Hot Springs Village areas.
Beyond the personal attentiveness and companionship found at a House of Three, residents receive help with all living activities and cost does not change as more personal care is required. A resident will pay far less at House of Three than a 24/7 caregiver from a company coming into their own home. Monthly costs align within the average of nursing homes in Garland County. House of Three frees family up to live their lives again knowing their loved one is in good hands.
Many fond memories come to Michael’s mind when he thinks of his House of Three moment. One stands out though. One of Michael’s residents was a gentleman named John that was in the Air Force for twenty seven years. He was the navigator of a very large US Air Force cargo aircraft, the Douglas Globemaster C-124. It was the primary heavy-lift transport cargo airplane for the United States Air Force during the 1950s and early 1960s. The aircraft could carry large military vehicles, supplies or up to 200 soldiers. As the navigator, John used specialized instruments to assist the pilots in flight to be aware of the aircraft position at all times.
In the first couple of months of John being at House of Three, Michael did a YouTube search for Globemaster C-124. One video was an air show where former pilots gave tours to people. They spoke to the camera about the in’s and out’s of the plane. In this video, the camera panned to the navigator seat. John was blown away to see something so familiar on the large screen TV. He could speak only a few words, but he was sitting in his recliner, on the edge of his seat, mumbling. He rose when Michael got to the part where they were looking at the instruments he used in the Air Force. John came up to the screen and would tell Michael what everything was. Michael recounts, “I was so moved by that. He was so excited about telling me about it. I would start and pause to allow him to relive that time in his life.”
The next day, Michael and John went to the sunroom on a nice day. John turned to Michael and said, “Thank you for showing me my airplane.” John had tears in his eyes. After that day, Michael would get his laptop and earphones and pull up Air Force videos that would interest him. As seen in this story, this is a perfect example of how much the caregivers and facilitators know their residents and have a special connection with them.
John served his country and served with honor. He was a very patriotic 6’2, 205 pound man. To be able to relive the glory days of his past was something he held onto in his last years.
John made such an impact on Michael. On the nights Michael would help John to bed, Michael would say, “Nighty night.” John would start laughing. One night, John responded by saying, “Good graces are in His flow.” Michael remembers this being one of the clearest full sentences John said in his three years with House of Three. Michael placed that statement on the fridge for a long time for all to see and remember.
We invite you to get to know Michael. He will keep you smiling and laughing! There are many more stories left to be told from the walls in House of Three Hot Springs, AR.
Since House of Three began, Evelyn Tate has been part of the team. This month marks six years of being a caregiver in one of the Little Rock homes.
Evelyn was born and raised in the duck capital of the world, Stuttgart, AR (not only does it have plenty of ducks, but it certainly has its fair share of mosquitoes!). She graduated from Stuttgart High School in 1971 and later pursued a degree in nursing. She graduated from nursing school in 1974 from what is now SEARK College in Pine Bluff.
After graduation, Evelyn started her nursing career at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock. She did one year of hospital work, particularly enjoying geriatrics. Over the next 40 years, she dedicated her time to geriatrics because as she put it, “I just love the elderly.” After 40 years, her time to retire as an LPN arrived and she hung her stethoscope up for what she thought was the last time.
Little did she know that around this time, Koy Butler had been talking to a social worker that also knew Evelyn. He needed someone loving and caring to be a part of House of Three. The social worker said to Koy, “Based on what you want and what you need, I know the girl for you.”
“In nursing homes, nurses do not truly get to participate in bedside nursing. The CNAs do that. Yes, you are needed if something is wrong with the patient, but I wanted something more personal,” said Evelyn. “At House of Three, I get the opportunity every day to do everything ‘hands-on’ with our residents. Our three individuals get personalized care because there are only three and I can give them everything they need.” All of this is what really interested Evelyn in the concept of House of Three. So, she decided to step into being semi-retired and get back to work.
“I appreciate Evelyn’s expertise and the fabulous care she gives to so many within our House of Three family,” said Koy Butler.
House of Three has provided fulfillment in Evelyn’s life that has been a great addition to the joy she experiences with her family. She has four children, one of whom is deceased, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. All of her relatives live close except for just a couple. One great-grandson lives in South Carolina and one granddaughter lives in Ohio. Her granddaughter, Essence, has lived with her since she was a little girl.
Today you can see the influence Evelyn has had on Essence during her upbringing. Evelyn graduated from nursing school at the age of 20, while Essence graduated from nursing school at the age of 21. Caring for others in their hardest times are what these women were born to do!
Outside of House of Three, Evelyn enjoys reading romantic magazines, antique shopping, being with her grandkids and traveling to Branson. About three months ago, Evelyn and some of the other House of Three caregivers traveled to Branson to see the famous show, Samson. She loved it so much that two weeks ago she and Essence traveled together to see the same show. Evelyn has an upcoming trip this summer to Miami with her kids and grandkids to celebrate her 66th birthday.
When Evelyn talks about her greatest accomplishments she quickly says it’s her children and grandchildren. She follows with how happy she is that Essence is “carrying the nursing torch” for her. In Evelyn’s final thoughts she says, “I am happy I have been given the chance to experience the work of House of Three. I always wanted to be a hands-on bedside nurse; right there with the patients. I know I have made a difference in my work in the past, but there is something so rewarding about what I do on a daily basis at House of Three. To me, patients are like family. With the home holding only three residents, I really get attached to them and their families.”
I can’t believe it’s been six years since the doors to the first House of Three opened. My hope was to provide a living option for seniors to enjoy other than the traditional long-term and in-home care. Today, I feel confident we have been successful in carrying out our mission.
After only working with our first three residents for a month, I knew this was the type of environment I wanted to work in for the rest of my career. I kicked myself for not doing it earlier!
With House of Three living, I have found that families are more content and appreciative. Residents seem more comfortable and relaxed, because they are in a true home and not in an institution posing as a home.
Sometimes, I can hardly believe that in six short years House of Three has grown from one to thirteen homes statewide. It is truly an exciting time to be taking care of our elderly population. Through this work, God has blessed me in so many rewarding ways.
The other day, I was visiting with a family member of one of our residents. She was telling me how happy her family was to have found House of Three. She said, “I wish there were more people that could offer your services.” I told her that I would like to be able to assist more people as well, but I am unable to help all who would like the House of Three environment.
She agreed with me and then recounted the familiar story of the boy who was walking down the beach one day throwing starfish back into the ocean at low tide. An old man came up to him and said, “Son, you’ll never be able to help all those starfish.” The boy bent down and picked up another starfish. He then said, “Maybe not, but I can help this one.” Then he threw the starfish back into the safety of the ocean.
I believe it’s the same way at House of Three. We cannot help every family in the state, but we would certainly like to try and help yours.
Let me introduce you to a phenomenal woman who lives in our Rogers, AR House of Three, facilitated by Shane and Jennifer Edwards. At seventy-years-old, Susan Hazard is an inspiration every day to people around her as she navigates through life with no arms or legs.
Let’s go back to Derby, NY, a small town twenty miles south of Buffalo. As a child, Susan frequented her uncle’s cabin on a pristine lake where she and her older brothers, Robert and Ollie, would boat, swim and fish. Many fond memories were created at that cabin.
Susan loved all animals. She enjoyed dressing barn cats up in doll clothes and inherited more dogs than she can remember. Horses were some of her favorites. She competed in many horse show events, but she especially loved the jumping event.
Her love of animals influenced her to go to school and work for a two-year degree as a veterinarian assistant. She then received a BA in Nutrition and Food Management and oversaw the care of nutrition in a home with four children that needed extra care. As much as she loved what she did with those degrees she had a desire to be a massage therapist so she became licensed and worked in Bentonville for 23 years before retiring. She absolutely loved this work and could have done it forever.
Although work was fulfilling, Susan has a generous heart and so she volunteered with International School Project from 2007-2017. With this organization Susan and others would travel to various countries and share their curriculum with public school teachers all across the world. The curriculum is called Dream Makers/Dream Breakers. Children were taught to write down their dreams for today, tomorrow, a week from now and years from now. They learned that these dreams were achievable unless bad choices prohibited them from becoming a reality. Teachers reported back to International School Project that many children had a positive change in behavior. During this time, Susan made a total of 23 trips.
Another organization near and dear to Susan’s heart is Care and Share, whom she worked with from 2014-2017. Their mission is similar to Salvation Army. Volunteers help get electricity on for folks who have hit hard times, serve in a food pantry, provide 3 outfits for each individual in need and gave money to the local Boys and Girls Club.
As you can see, Susan has a heart of gold. Her passion is helping others no matter the cost.
One night, Susan’s generosity would change her life forever. On October 3, 2017 Susan was home when she heard a knock at her front door. The voice on the other side was a man who said his car had broken down and he needed to use her phone. Susan was careful to crack the door and toss her phone out. He made a phone call and as he was giving the phone back he pushed his way into her home. The next five hours would be the worst hours of Susan’s life. She was brutally attacked all while a cloth was around her face and neck preventing her from seeing.
Susan prayed silently to God saying, “God, I want to live but if it’s not your will, I know I will be with you.”
The man left the next morning and Susan wondered who to call. Almost immediately a friend from Care and Share called because Susan wasn’t there and she never missed being with the group. Her friend came and took her to the hospital. Doctors didn’t think Susan would live because she now had blood poisoning. Her hands and feet were losing blood flow and she was advised to have both arms and both legs amputated.
Susan asked her primary doctor to come in so she could visit with him about her hands. After all, she was a massage therapist and needed her hands to be able to make a living. He ultimately said her hands needed to go.
The next months were extremely hard. Susan spent three months in the hospital, 100 days in rehab followed by two more weeks in rehab and finally moved to House of Three for her physical therapy.
When you meet Susan you know she belongs to the Lord. She gives Him all the glory and honor for what He has brought her through. She praises God for being able to recall all the details for the detectives. They found the man the day after the attack. His trial was July 2018. He had three other counts against him in which he will serve life for all four plus 20 years.
Susan says, “God is ALWAYS faithful. He helps me day by day. I am able to forgive because of God’s power. Jesus gives us the command to forgive for our own good.”
Her favorite scripture is found in Romans 8:28. Paul says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Although Susan’s days look much different today, she continues to be thankful. She mentors children and teaches them to practice perseverance. She had the pleasure of meeting a young boy with amputated legs. He was struggling with wearing his prosthetics and Susan was able to encourage him. She understands these struggles and finds it important to help lift those around her with similar difficulties.
In Susan’s spare time she enjoys getting outside and walking. She has an event coming up in April at the Bentonville High School track. Her goal is to walk three miles. When asked if she feels like taking a walk her response is, “I’m always ready to walk. I’m just waiting for someone to ask.” What an amazing inspiration of a woman!
House of Three is a more personalized alternative to nursing homes, assisted living and home-based care. Staffed with attentive caregivers and set within neighborhoods, our homes are specifically designed to meet the needs of seniors during their advanced years. Partnering with House of Three is a sound placement that can serve your loved one through hospice care.
House of Three strives to be more than just a care home. By keeping our staff-to-resident ratio low, we can provide focused, individual attention throughout the day. As we get to know our residents on a personal level, we learn their preferences and anticipate their needs. ~ Koy Butler, Founder
We welcome you to reach out to us if you have a loved one that needs more care. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Also, if you would like to partner with us and expand House of Three homes to other parts of Arkansas let’s visit. More and more of our friends say, “We wish there was a House of Three in __________.”