TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A time of isolation, unknowns and frustration also unveiled the heroes hidden among us, and one of them is LaTisha Cartwright.

“For me, putting others before myself is what keeps me grounded, the love that I feel from the residents and their families.”

Latisha Cartwright, Senior Executive Director, Atria Senior Living Facility

Cartwright and her team at Atria Willow Park, an elderly living community in Tyler, have put their lives on the line to keep their seniors safe as COVID-19 looms over those most susceptible.

“I put off a lot just because I didn’t want to bring COVID into my community because God forbid it was me that brought it in,” said Cartwright.

While managing to go almost a year without a single case, the inevitable happened.

“I have seen and lost so much over the past  year especially,” said Cartwright.

The pandemic, her responsibility as Executive Director mixed in with her role as a single mother, keeps Cartwright on her toes. Cartwright said her motivation to keep moving forward in a time of loss are her two kids: Devin, her oldest son, who’s now a father to his own son Xanye, and Gracie, a star-studded athlete.

Cartwright is loved by her Atria Community, and to her, a lot of the residents in her community are family. That feeling is mutual to all under her care. To them, she’s beyond the head honcho in their senior living home, but rather a friend.

Her mission is centered around this:

“Really what you’re doing is looking for the intangible things, not the brick and the mortar, not necessarily what the food tastes like, or what people look like, but it is how do you feel.”

Cartwright’s origin story into the healthcare industry wasn’t one of passion at first.

“I never wanted to do this…I always wanted to teach and be a coach,” said Cartwright.

Her career path was sparked by her father, Curtis Cartwright after he became terminally ill. Instead of going off to college, Cartwright wanted to stay and take care of her father, thus sparking her on the path that guided her to her role today: one that made Cartwright the courageous frontline hero to her family, friends and staff members.

“It’s just where God said you know, I know this is what you want to do, but I have another plan,” said Cartwright.

LaTisha Cartwright was nominated by her sister, Kay Cartwright. Here’s what Kay had to say about LaTisha:

“I am nominating my sister LaTisha Cartwright . She is not only an amazing Sister but also one of the most selfless , giving and caring women I know . Latisha has been a single Mom for about 10 years now . She has always held a steady job while raising two Amazing kids ,her son Devin is 22 and her daughter Gracie is 17 and a senior at Jacksonville High School Jacksonville Texas. LaTisha is the community sales director at Atria Willow Park in Tyler Texas. She is that Mom ,the one that works  every day and most weekends , she loves her Atria family and they definitely love her . When Devin was starting in athletics , she would make every single game , baseball & basketball no matter where it was . Now that Gracie is in High School and has been playing basketball since she could hold a ball, also Club basketball , they have traveled all over as a family . Latisha is Gracie’s biggest supporter , Gracie has also been accepted to the College of Charleston to play Division 1 basketball . Latisha has worked exceptionally hard to make sure that both of her kids have never gone without . Latisha has missed many events and numerous other family gatherings because she is either working or on the road with the kids . Latisha loves her Atria family ,she knows every single resident , their pets and family’s ! She is such an asset to this community and during these difficult times of COVID , she has worked day and night , having to help with hands on with all the residents . She has delivered meals to their rooms , helped deliver their meds , kept each and every one of their family’s informed of their well-being when the family’s weren’t able to see them ☹️ To say it’s been a very trying time in the Senior living community is an understatement ! We Love Latisha dearly and we are so proud of the hard working , God loving , caring “”care giver”” she has Always been ! Thank you for considering her nomination. Sincerely, Kay Cartwright”

Nominated by Kay Cartwright