Meet the Chesters
Meet the Chesters!
Having a loved one with an illness impacts a family in many ways. When a patient needs to travel out of town for care the need for lodging presents a unique challenge for the patient’s family and caregivers. Hotels can be extremely expensive, even with hospital discounts. In many cases it can be difficult to find short term lodging near the hospital, and hospital admissions and discharges are often very last minute. My family has been in this situation several times with our son Gabe. Gabe was diagnosed with a heart defect at 1 week of age and needed 5 procedures during his life- three open heart surgeries and two heart catheterizations. All of these procedures were out of town for us- his first 2 surgeries and cath were done at Duke and his last cath and surgery were done at Boston Children’s hospital- hours from our home. Thankfully both of these facilities have housing that we were able to utilize- the Ronald McDonald House in Durham, NC and Patient Family Housing in Boston. We had a place to stay near the hospital with other families and we paid reasonable rates. It took away some of the stress of needing to leave for medical care. Unfortunately there are not always similar facilities for adults undergoing treatment, yet their spouse and other family members may also travel and need stay close by. Having this type of lodging for adults can be a huge blessing and may even enable families to choose a better option than one closer to home. Lack of lodging shouldn’t be a barrier to access of necessary care!