Family Member Hero - People's Choice

View Other Nominees in this Category

Susan Romero Susan Romero

Susan Romero

Position: Family Caregiver

Organization: Senior Helpers/St. Jude Family Caregiver Resource Center


List your nominee's experience in Senior Care.
On March 30, 2017 Susan Romero's life changed forever, her husband had a hemorrhagic stroke. Teds doctor told her that he had severe brain damage and he would never walk or talk again. Susan did not believe the doctor and made it her goal to prove him wrong.
Susan gives her days and nights to help Ted and his recovery. Her days consist of waking up at 5:30am to have an hour of "me" time before Ted wakes up and she gets her full day started. When Ted awakes they have coffee and toast and then a quick sponge bath. Each day he has either doctor appointments or groups he attends. She has found many resources to help Ted. He attends a Community Recovery Group through St. Jude, a Stroke Support Group through Kaiser, and he goes to a speech therapy program through Cal State Fullerton. Susan has also taken a Caregiver class through St. Jude so she can make sure she is doing everything she can for her husband. When they are not out and about at groups or doctor visits she is assisting him at home with puzzles, flash cards, or other games and activities to help in his rehabilitation.
When Ted takes his naps is when Susan has time to clean the house, feed the animals, and start preparing dinner. After dinner is the most difficult time for Susan as Ted takes a shower every night. This makes Susan nervous as she is afraid he will fall.
Ted is now semi mobile, he is cognitively aware, he cannot fully speak but some words do come out. She uses a leg brace and a shoe, along with a gait belt for him to walk to the restroom and walk into the living room. Ted has come a long way, thanks to his loving wife Susan.

Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
Life before a stroke was absolutely wonderful with Ted. Susan and Ted met at The Foxfire and dated for 11 years before getting married. Susan was a single mom of 3 kids and she wanted her kids to be grown before getting married again. Before they were married Susan worked part time for a rehab facility. Ted told her that when they got married she could quit her job as it was her turn to have a great life (after raising 3 kids on her own). Shortly after they were married, Susan's son passed away at the age of 19 years old.
Susan spent most of her days volunteering for Meals on Wheels, making blankets for charities, and experimenting in the kitchen (which didn't always turn out so great).
She said that Ted absolutely spoiled her, they were very simple people that just loved to be together. Every evening they would go out on the patio for "happy hour" and conversation. They were always very romantic and her single friends would say that they wanted a Ted of their own. Ted paid all the bills and Susan was able to take care of their many animals and take care of the house.
St. Jude Family Caregiver Resource Center gave Susan a grant to have a Caregiver come stay with Ted so she could attend a series of family caregiving classes, with this grant she was referred to Senior Helpers. When I met Susan, she inspired me! Teds stroke happened a year ago and Susan is so positive about his recovery and always smiling and knowing things ARE going to get better. When I asked her how she stays so positive her response was "I am very lucky. I hear stories about stroke survivors being bitter, but Ted is not, he is a pleasure. And my animals help keep a smile on my face and keep me uplifted."
Susan is currently trying to plan a surprise for Ted as he has been starting to get a little depressed about his recovery. He, of course, wants to be better now. Ted loves Laguna Beach, so she is going to try to take him on an outing to brighten his day and uplift his spirit.
Sue is still as much in love with Ted as she was when they married. I am very impressed with her positive outlook on his recovery and her determination to make it happen, she is an inspiration! That is why she has been nominated for the Family Member Hero, Ted is so very lucky to have her. And just meeting her, anyone can see why she is so deserving of this award.