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A Lifesaving Journey from Caregiver to Hero

Follow the transformative journey of one of our direct care staff's profound passion for caregiving, as it propels her to become an advocate for those in need—even saving someone's life! 

It’s not every day that you save someone’s life! But thankfully Amanda Simington’s passion, expertise, and quick judgment in the field, helped her prepare for this life-saving experience. 

“It has been a lifelong passion for me to be a caregiver and advocate for those in greatest need of our love and support,” said Amanda.

Paralyzed with Guillain Barre Syndrome as a child, she was ventilated with a tracheostomy and had a gastrostomy tube. “The experience gave me appreciation for those with disabilities from a young age, and gratitude that I was able to enjoy a full recovery,” said Amanda.

Amanda moved here from Texas and started working at Phoenix in 2018. She started out as a Direct Support Professional, then transitioned to a Float Program Manager in 2022. Most recently, she became one of the Program Supervisors at Howard House last June. Although she was still getting to know everyone in the home, she knew something was wrong when the staff reported to her that one of the individuals was coughing when they drank. After notifying the nurse and guardian, she signed them up for a swallow test, which revealed that they were silently aspirating.

“She’s very in-tune with the people she provides services for. She really goes above and beyond,” said Nurse Consultant Lydia Scherr-Demzuk, who helped with the incident.

Good thing Amanda caught this abnormality when she did. Had it not been discovered, this individual could have dealt with more serious health conditions! Thankfully, getting a g-tube placed fixed the issue!

Nowadays, the individual is doing much better. They’ve placed them on an enteral feeding diet and set them up with adaptive occupational therapy to help with sensory feeding. They also plan to incorporate several adaptive devices into their daily routine, including a chewy necklace to help stimulate their palate safely, and an essential oil diffuser, wireless headphones, and a white noise machine to help them self soothe.

Thank you for all your hard work Amanda!

Praises From Her Coworkers

“What makes Amanda special is that she is very confident and very willing to face challenges with guardians. She gives them assurance that everything is okay with their loved one. She is a team player, which has led us to being very successful.”

Hilda Momanyi, Assistant Program Director

“Amanda’s work ethics are amazing. She organizes well and communicates with the team what needs to be done. She always helps without hesitation and is always problem solving. Whenever staff are struggling with certain assignments, she's right there to help and guide them to make sure of their success.”

Samuka Bility, Regional Program Coordinator