Patricia Hurt was recently honored with cash, prizes and the title of local winner of the Homewatch CareGivers of Summerlin's Family Caregiver of the Year Award, but the Centennial Hills resident said her riches lie in her family.
The 52-year-old serves as primary caregiver to her 21-year-old daughter Amanda, who was born with brain defects, blindness and partial hearing. She defied doctors' predictions that she wouldn't live more than six months.
Since then, Hurt said Amanda has taken a sunny spot among the family's five children.
"She's been a joy to us," Hurt said. "She's sweet, and she's happy all the time. It's (been) 21 years of taking care of a happy baby."
Hurt's prizes included $200, 10 hours of respite care from the Homewatch CareGivers of Summerlin and a scholarship to its online classroom, Homewatch CareGivers University, where she can take additional classes, such as CPR.
Her win also puts her among the semi-finalists for the title of National Family Caregiver of the Year and a $10,000 grand prize.
Hurt was nominated for the award by Therese Elliott of Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada. The women met this year when Hurt's home received a face-lift, thanks to Elliott's organization and the Sears Heroes at Home program. Hurt's husband, Bryan, is a military veteran.
The volunteer crew, including celebrity guest Ty Pennington, helped make the family's semi split-level home more wheelchair-accessible for Amanda.
They also updated a bathroom to make it easier to bathe her.
Elliott said Hurt's grace and appreciation prompted her to nominate her for the award from the Homewatch CareGivers of Summerlin, a branch of the national home care provider .
"She is just one of the sweetest, most wonderful women I have ever met," Elliott said. "She's so dedicated to her family, and that's what motivated me to want to nominate her."
Hurt stays home with Amanda during the day, speaking to her and putting cartoons and music on for stimulation. Hurt never strays far from her daughter's side and tries to stay privy to services that she can utilize and techniques that she can master to help her daughter thrive, Hurt said.
She took a CPR class with her cash winnings and plans to finish online Homewatch CareGivers University courses in respiratory therapy to help Amanda.
Hurt is still surprised by the recognition, she said.
"I couldn't believe it," Hurt said. "You never expect rewards for what you do as a mom -- you just do it."
For more information, visit homewatchcaregivers.com/las-vegas.
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter Maggie Lillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 477-3839.