TAMPA — Deana Jolliff knows a thing or two about the struggles of living life with a disability after suffering from epilepsy throughout her childhood and young adult life.
She often felt her life wasn't worth living. She couldn't drive, couldn't do anything on her own, and had to drop out of school, so when presented with an opportunity to potentially eliminate her seizures with surgery she took it in spite of the risk of losing her life.
"When the doctor told me that, I didn't have to think about it twice," said Jolliff.
"Facing the possibility of dying on the table or being seizure free, I was willing to take that chance because my life already was nonfunctional and very debilitating. Having epilepsy, I felt like I was dead."
In 1996 Jolliff said she got a second chance at life after the surgery completely eliminated her epileptic seizures, and now, at age 53, it is her passion to give back to the less fortunate and help those with a disability succeed.
In addition to being a registered nurse at Tampa General Hospital, Jolliff recently started her own business, Total Compass Care, which is centered around compassion and aims to provide holistic home care to individuals with disabilities so that they never have to endure what she went through.
With Total Compass Care, Jolliff strives to provide continued personal care, more than what one receives in the hospital.
"I have a genuine love for people like I do for my family, so I like to make sure people have that," Jolliff said.
"I think that's what will set my business apart."
Services include supported employment connecting individuals with companies that hire people with disabilities, companion and personal support with daily tasks such as eating and bathing, residential rehabilitation, and supported living coach to help maintain a household.
She collaborates with waiver support coordinators at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) to receive clients that could benefit from her services and in the future hopes to offer hospice care, nursing, and a residential place for seniors and adults.
Total Compass Care services are available as of today (June 1) to qualified individuals of all ages, and are primarily funded through Medicaid.
For more information visit totalcompasscare.com.
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