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Paula Sartain: Helping Hands and a Hummingbird Heart

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Paula Sartain Photo Lead

 

Hummingbirds have often symbolized courage, playfulness, adaptability, healing and joy. That is why it is no surprise to see the sunlight glinting through a stained glass hummingbird prominently displayed in Paula Sartain’s office window.

Paula was born to an Irish mother and hardworking father whose impeccable morals and fiery spirits lit a spark within her. She started working at age fourteenand was eventually able to put herself through nursing school. She went on to work where she was needed most – in the ICU. She worked 60-hour weeks while nursing a husband with brain cancer at home. But she showed up to work every day with a smile on her dimpled face and an impetus to better the world around her.

However, after so much hard work and so many trials, life had gotten to Paula, as it does to many of us at some point or another. She wondered what her next step would be to better herself and her community. She was struggling with this existential crisis when she met Helen Springs, another RN. As they helped each other battle their inner heart full of Finaldemons, their iron-forged relationship set her on a new track. Helen had just started a home care business and was literally working out of a closet at the time. Helen Springs partnered with Paula Sartain, and A.C.T. Home Care was created. A.C.T. stands for “A Caring Touch,” and the proof is in the pudding. The business more than quadrupled its size in as many years. Word-of-mouth referrals spread like wildfire, praising the kindness, concern, and skill portrayed by these nurses, and today A.C.T. is the best private home care agency in Northeast Georgia.

Paula and Helen care deeply for their clients, as well as their employees. They treat each client as if he or she were Paula or Helen’s family member. Since many people who use A.C.T.’s services are below poverty level and are on some sort of government assistance, Paula and Helen have been known to personally clean clients’ homes, tend to them, and even help them move if the client has no one else to help them. Employees will often come into the office to find a small, meaningful gift on their chair or a note of gratitude on their computer monitors. They regularly provide lunch, “just because”, or Paula will make her famous banana pudding for the office. Each employee is treated like family, and academic excellence and other creative pursuits are encouraged. Paula bounces into the office each morning with a smile on her face, and she takes the time to stop by every single employee’s desk to ask how they’re doing.

As administrator of A.C.T., Paula has an open-door policy and a non-judgmental demeanor, and every one of her employees has had their turn to cry or voice their personal woes to her open ears and compassionate spirit. As of yet, none have left her office without a smile and an unburdened heart resulting from her sage advice and insight.

You would never be able to guess that Paula has had to struggle in life or that she has been faced with impossible obstacles. She has fought through addiction, personal health issues, the death of her parents, and numerous heart-wrenching, life-changing struggles. But she has emerged from those battles with the strength and light of a phoenix, forged in fire. She is one of those magnetic souls that seem to have figured out the secret to life.

As Paula often says, “God doesn’t need my help.” But I think maybe she is His answer for many. She is the epitome of a winner in that she helps us each recognize the winner within ourselves.

holding hands

 

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

 

~ President Barack Obama

 

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