Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

October 23, 2013

Birdwell praises home health care workers

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Texas Sen. Brian Birdwell came to Corsicana Friday to speak at the attendant appreciation luncheon for Outreach Health Services, a home-health service with a branch in Navarro County and about 250 employees.

Birdwell spoke briefly about his recovery following injuries incurred on Sept. 11, 2001 in the Pentagon attacks, and how appreciative he was to those taking care of him, including his wife, Mel.

On the morning of the terrorist attacks, he was 39 years old and in excellent physical condition. When it was over, he had burns over 60 percent his body and was reliant on others for even the most basic functions.

“I went from being an adult in excellent physical condition to a six-foot-tall infant,” he said. “There was almost nothing I could do for myself.”

Birdwell thanked the home health care workers for all that they do for the “most fragile members of our community.”

Among those in the audience Friday were Ethel Cofer and Patsy Allen, who have both been in the health care field for more than 20 years.

Both began taking care of others by caring for family members when they were younger.

“I think it’s very rewarding, helping people who can’t help themselves,” Cofer said. “You meet such sweet people in this field. You just fall in love with them.”

Allen previously worked for NASA dealing with tiny electronic components that she had to see through a scope. She eventually decided she’d rather work with people than microscopic electronics.

“The work just go to be so tedious,” she said. “I like helping people. I want them to need me.”

Cofer took care of family members, but also worked in childcare and housework, admitting she’s always been a “people” person.

“You form a relationship with the patients,” she said.

Friday’s event hosted more than 150 attendants and employees of Outreach at Calvary Worship in Corsicana. They had lunch and attendants were offered information on the various services that they can access.


Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at Want to “sound off” to this article? Email: