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Local Social Worker Goes Above and Beyond For Patients

www.localmemphis.com

MEMPHIS, TN --You probably know what a doctor does, or a registered nurse, but most people don't know the important role social workers play in our health care system. They are often unsung heroes. 

It's National Social Work Month, and one of the best in the Mid-South works right here at the King's Daughters and Sons Home. 

While walking through the hallways with our Local Hero, Laura Lee Naron, we met some of her clients, including one of her favorites.

"Do you mind if I tell your story?" asked Naron to patient Laura. 

20 years ago she likely never thought her life would be confined to this nursing home.

"Laura was a nurse, and she had stopped on the side of the road to help a motorcyclist that had wrecked, and a car hit her and she ended up being paralyzed," explained Naron.

Laura lost her ability to talk, but her social worker, Laura Lee, has now become her voice, advocating for her needs as her social worker.

"This is their home, so you need to make it feel like this is where they want to be. Sometimes it's a hard adjustment for people to say this is where I'll be for the rest of my life," said Naron. 

"It's pretty hard when you've got...she's got to take over 108 people all making demands like I am everyday. And you get pulled pretty thin, but we love her and she makes a big difference," said Ted O'Brien.

Fighting on their behalf to make life a little bit easier.

"And she got me my chair, my power wheelchair, and that makes me more independent. And I can do a lot more things, and that was because of Laura," said Kathleen Truehart.

And then there are the things that go beyond her job description, like impromptu dance parties.

"We dance every morning. She gets me in a good mood," said Naron. "Show her how you shake it off."

Giving away free haircuts, helping decorate their rooms or making them feel special during the holidays. 

"Christmas is my big thing I do every year. We collect 108 bags, we have donated items, and we fill them up," said Naron. 

So after 16 years of dedicated service here at the King's Daughter's and Sons Home, she received an award after being nominated by her peers.

"This award is presented to a social worker that goes above and beyond. Crossroads Hospice would like to award you the 2015 Caring More Award."

A special recognition for all the people she's helped along the way. Even those who lost the ability to tell her themselves that her work doesn't go unnoticed.