We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassandra S. Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassandra S., what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success/success of my brand is God’s WILL, GRACE, and MERCY for me. Regardless of any tribulation I’m blessed to persevere. I was sexually abused by who and what I call “a silent predator” my father from age 4-16. Everything I could and should have learned and enjoyed throughout a normal childhood was taken away from me. The remnants of the sexual abuse led to a drug overdose, admit into a mental health facility, being bullied at school and on the school bus, grades so bad no one could foresee me graduating high school nevertheless a future nursing or any career for that matter. I had no time to focus on academics. My priority was surviving another day without being sexually abused. BUT GOD!!!!
May 1989 I was blessed to graduate from High School. December 2003, I completed the LPN program at Sowela Technical Community College, Lake Charles, Louisiana, obtained my LPN license on 12/31/2003 and formally graduated January 16, 2004. Grateful! Grateful! Grateful!
Fall 2009 my mother was diagnosed with Dementia which progressed forcing me to take time from nursing Fall 2013 to care for her. The very same mother who I secretly despised for not protecting me from the sexual abuse. Regardless, caring for and protecting her was the least I could do as her daughter and a nurse. That entire experience was evidently another of God’s great plans because my mom and I were given the opportunity to reconnect that unconditional love and respect. My mother’s dream of becoming a nurse is what I was blessed to fulfill. Sharing that achievement with her and just knowing how proud she was encouraged me to achieve more. I was working towards the LPN to BSN degree prior to and throughout caring for her. My mother’s death, the day I watched her take her last breath August 10, 2014, shook me to my core. It was as if I couldn’t breathe, nor did I even want to. My mother, my nursing cheerleader was no longer physically here to cheer me on. How could I pick up another nursing book? Why even finish the LPN to BSN program?
January 2015, I gathered myself returning to work and planning a return to the LPN to BSN program. That new plan became very short-lived due to a rear-end motor vehicle accident May of 2015. Neck and back injuries sustained from the accident later led to severe neck/back pain and surgeries. That nursing career and furthering of education that I put on hold due to the death of my mother, has now come to an end, PERMANENTLY!!!!
The traumatic sexual abuse, death of my mother, and loss of my nursing career were 3 pivotal and horrendous moments of my life where I was suicidal. It was nothing but GOD’S GRACE and MERCY that brought me through. The devil meant for evil to kill, steal, and destroy me. BUT GOD who had already sent the Holy Spirit to comfort me in those great times of fragility PICKED UP, HELD and ROCKED me in the CRADLE of HIS ARMS!!! My HEAVENLY FATHER in the MIGHTY name of his son JESUS CHRIST repaired my brokenness, giving me impeccable FAITH and STRENGTH!!! 2012 I became brave enough to publish my autobiography “Through Those Eyes” detailing my sexual abuse and perseverance. I am a living testimony that one’s past does not dictate their future. My plan is to exploit “Through Those Eyes”, to educate parents of children and whomever having been sexually abused of the warning signs and different avenues for help. Persevering and never giving up regardless, of any situation is the reason I have been blessed with a seat at the head of the Reliable Alternative Home Care, Inc. table. I want nothing better than to represent my mother’s dreams, love and support my community throughout nursing while instructing my staff on providing the best home healthcare available.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Reliable Alternative Home Care, Inc. is a licensed community based in-home healthcare. Our exceptional team of licensed medical professionals epitomize compassion and dedication to providing high-quality innovative care to our patients leading to optimal outcomes and promoting quality of life.
Our professional team of nurses and therapists provide home healthcare services throughout the Collin, Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, and Tarrant Counties of Texas.
Prior to obtaining any patient Reliable Alternative Home Care, must first receive a licensed physician ordered patient referral. Once referrals are received, a Registered Nurse admit visit is scheduled and confirmed for that referred patient. Upon arrival to any patient’s home, our nurses and therapists adhere to strict Infection control and COVID-19 prevention measures. Throughout the nursing admit and frequently scheduled skilled nurse visits the patient’s vital signs (v/s) are measured, a head-to-toe assessment is performed, each patient/caregiver is educated regarding infection control (signs and symptoms, importance of hand washing and wearing a mask), home ambulation, and transfer safety, individualized emergency planning, patient specific disease process, diet, and medication management and compliance. A physician is notified immediately of any abnormality such as elevation or decline of vital sign (v/s) and or exacerbation of disease process. If a 911 call is warranted our nurses and therapists will have that patient triaged and remain with that patient until the paramedics arrive. Report of patient status is exchanged amongst all parties involved with patient triage. Again, the physician is notified immediately.
What sets Reliable Alternative apart from others? Although Cassandra’s disability may have physically ended her nursing career, it did not alter her deeply rooted love of the nursing profession itself. Being on the receiving end of neck surgery, back surgery, the daily, unrelieved, excruciating pain, physical and psychological therapies have ALL personally educated and strengthened Cassandra more than she would ever imagine. She can now empathize greater, more 1 on 1 with her patients, their caregivers, and share the many physical and mental challenges faced throughout her rehabilitation while encouraging them to never give up. That bonus blessing in disguise is what sets Reliable Alternative Home Care, Inc. apart from our competitors.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Due to my disability, the trips, going out to eat or drink, hanging out, etc. does not occur. I am more of a stay-at-home person.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, my late mother who was tough as nails forcing me to work hard and never give up. Also teaching me to love and have faith in God. My 3 children Kolicia, DeAntonio, and Landrae for ALL the sacrifices we made for me to succeed.
My sister and brother-in-law Wanda and Ronald Price for unselfishly assisting my mom and me with my children allowing me to focus on and complete the LPN program.
My husband Leroy Johnson for believing in me even when life events kept me from believing in myself. Thanks so much for all your love and financial support making my business dreams come true.
My Uncle Howard and late Aunt Linda Sumbler who are 2 retired educators that played critical roles in my upbringing and throughout adulthood. Lots of love and encouragement.
Ann Kellogg, my mother in nursing and great friend for showing up at my home every morning encouraging and giving me a ride to LPN class.
My daughter Kolicia Carr, along with my two closest and best friends, sisters in Christ and Nursing Tammie Ogborn, RN and Demetria Tolbert, RN, BSN. There would be no Reliable Alternative Home Care, Inc. without those three ladies, their unselfish love and support.
My former boss Valnita, who taught me so much about hands on home health care nursing and administrative duties to successfully reach the goals I have today.
My cousin Lanisha of Runnin’ Buzz Bartending for her continued encouragement and mentoring.
My cousin Gregory Denagall at DesignedAdvantage.com for creating such a beautiful book cover for “Through Those Eyes”.
Klarke Foreman and Bri’Ann Stephens at Foundation First of Houston Texas who designed my beautiful nursing logo for Reliable Alternative Home Care, Inc.