2013 Peggy Porter Memorial Award

Feb 14
Lisa Carbone, Director
Dungarvin California

Dungarvin launched the annual Peggy Porter Memorial Award in early 2007 to honor the life and ultimate sacrifice of Peggy Porter, a Dungarvin direct service professional (DSP). Peggy was a truly extraordinary person of great humility, and she cared immensely about the people she supported. On the evening of December 20, 2006, a fire broke out in the home of two individuals served. Peggy attempted to extinguish the fire while simultaneously trying to save the lives of both individuals in the home. Overcome by smoke, the fire claimed both her life and the life of one of the individuals; the other person recovered fully. It was her love and dedication that drove her in her last selfless act to try and save the lives of individuals served. The Peggy Porter Memorial Award is regarded with considerable esteem across the Dungarvin organization and recognizes DSPs who have performed a significant act to protect the welfare of a person served.

This year, the Annual Peggy Porter Memorial Award is presented to Tim McGruder and Ashiana Ali of Dungarvin California, LLC.

On June 12, 2013, as employees and individuals were participating in one of California’s day programs, employees Tim McGruder and Ashiana Ali were busy completing their normal duties. Ashiana was assisting a gentleman in the restroom when, without warning, he slumped and became unresponsive. Ashiana quickly recognized that the individual needed assistance, and she called out to her co-workers for help. In the meantime, he began to lean further forward, becoming increasingly limp. While attempting to stabilize the individual and prevent him from falling, Ashiana noticed his skin was becoming pale. Just as quickly, she observed another change, he turned blue and his body became rigid.

Tim, upon hearing his co-worker’s urgent request for assistance, entered the restroom and removed the individual from the commode, laying him gently on the ground. It was apparent that the supported person had stopped breathing, and Tim began performing CPR while Ashiana swiftly ensured someone called 911.

Tim and Ashiana were well-prepared to respond to this emergency, and they applied their training effectively. Prior to this event, Ashiana was in the process of earning her certified nursing assistant (CNA) license while Tim had been trained as an acute care CNA and licensed respiratory aide. Both DSPs had recently refreshed their CPR and First Aid training.

By the time EMTs arrived to the scene, the individual had regained consciousness. His color had returned, and he was breathing normally. Both staff continued to attend to him with a cool rag to his head, comforting words, and assurances that he would continue to be well cared for. Upon arrival to the hospital, the individual who had collapsed was diagnosed with pneumonia. He has since experienced a full recovery without further incident.

In this situation, Ashiana and Tim reflected Dungarvin’s values by demonstrated courage and dedication to a person in service. Their swift and thorough actions show that DSPs do make a difference in the lives of those people they support. This difference is reflected the abilities, talents, and commitment of all of our staff.

The Dungarvin California team proudly commends Tim McGruder and Ashiana Ali for their valiant efforts, which honor the life and actions of Peggy Porter’s own heroic efforts.

An award ceremony will be held this spring of 2014. Family, friends and colleagues will be invited to celebrate Tim and Ashiana’s dedicated efforts, initiative, and commitment to quality.

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