Guest Spotlight: 100% Focus on Healing

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While the majority of guests who stay at Family House have cancer, our other guests include patients being treated at UNC Hospitals for a variety of diagnoses including post-partum depression, lung disease, severe burns, eating disorders, and organ transplants.

SmithsIn 2019 Don and Patsy Smith stayed with us for about four months. Burned over 42% of his body, Don spent several weeks in-patient at the world renowned North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center. Making remarkable progress, he was discharged as an outpatient and stayed with us for several weeks where he visited the hospital several days a week for occupational and physical therapy. 

Like so many of our guests, Don and Patsy quickly established a new normal routine: rising early, taking the shuttle to the hospital for appointments before returning to the House for meals, entertainment, and fellowship with guests who quickly became their friends and shoulders to lean on.

Our guests often share with us that staying here is the next best thing to staying at home because of conversations with other guests, volunteers, and staff that help sustain them through this challenging time in their lives. Patsy and Don were no different. The Smiths tell us they couldn’t imagine being alone in a hotel; that having a “safe, comfortable place to stay where everyone is so supportive of one another” is such a “blessing” to them. Don shares that staying at Family House “took so many worries off the table” for him and Patsy, allowing them to focus 100% on his long road to recovery. 

While there's a degree of uncertainty during recovery that brings its own level of anxiety, the staff at the burn center is happily surprised at how well Don is healing. World-class care at UNC Hospitals, having a safe and comfortable place to stay along with new friends at Family House, and Patsy always there for him—these factors have contributed to Don’s astounding progress to date. We wish the Smiths all the best in their journey.


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