Fairhaven Blog

Things of interest around Fairhaven.

Fairhaven Memorial Park Honors Orange Resident

Cynthia Adair - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Amy Sorenby, October recipient of Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care AwardAmy Sorenby, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Cross Country Per Diem, is our October recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

When Amy lost her two-year-old daughter in 2003, she vowed to go back to school to become a nurse as a tribute to the care her daughter received before her death. Now working as a CNA, Amy works in hospitals all over Orange County, with plans to further her education to become a registered nurse.

“Amy’s strength and determination to become a nurse in spite of a traumatic experience is inspiring,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “The love and care she pours into her patients is what we hope to recognize with our Care Award.”

On June 16, 2001, Amy went in for an emergency Cesarean section due to complications with her twin girls. Alexis was born at one pound, 15 ounces, and Brianne at one pound, one ounce. Due to her size and condition, Brianne spent nearly her first year in the hospital. Prior to Brianne’s release, Amy was required to stay in the hospital for a week, learning how to check her daughter’s vitals and monitor her nasogastric tube. This training not only prepared Amy to care for her daughter but also inspired her to pursue a career in nursing.

In 2003, Amy’s then-husband was deployed to Iraq with the Marine Corps. Soon after, Brianne fell ill and was admitted to Naval Medical Center in San Diego for testing. Amy spent the next five months at the San Diego Fisher House to be near Brianne, while Alexis was cared for by her grandparents. Doctors ultimately diagnosed Brianne with pulmonary hypertension and, while doctors would have recommended a heart and lung transplant, Brianne’s fragile condition prevented her from this solution. Brianne passed away later that year.

Although extremely painful, this experience guided Amy to fulfill her calling as a caregiver. Amy now works daily to provide patients with the best possible care – treating them as though they were her own family. Somehow, Amy finds time to fit it all in, not only caring for others, but also her two children as a single mom.

Amy will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet on November 12 at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements within the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation in her honor to her selected charity, The Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House in San Diego.

For more information about Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email

Touching Lives

Marla Noel - Friday, October 10, 2014

Last week, in my Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) meeting, we had the opportunity to tour the Make-A-Wish Foundation office in Irvine. During our tour, one of my fellow members noticed I was very quiet and asked me if I felt okay. I didn’t know how to react but then realized I had very conflicting feelings about the work this organization does.

As a mortuary, one of the saddest situations we witness is the loss of a child. It’s heartbreaking for all of our staff and I can’t imagine how the parents must feel. I guess this is what I was thinking as we toured the office of an organization whose purpose is to provide enrichment to a life that may end soon. People frequently ask me how I’m able to work in a mortuary – after my tour, I wondered how a person can sit with a child who may have months to live and figure out how to grant a wish. My job is easy in comparison; I don’t know how I would handle helping so many little ones face the reality of death.

There are many angels out there; those who work with sickness, those who work in hospice, and those who work in organizations like Make-A-Wish. We’re lucky there are people among us who have found their calling. I feel fortunate to know about the angels who work at the Make-A-Wish Foundation – they add so much hope, strength and joy to such young lives.


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