Guest Spotlight: The Ghosthorse Family

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Recently, we had the privilege of experiencing the special bond between parent and child when Paul, Inez, and Zelemkhan Ghosthorse spent ten days in our hospitality house.

Paul, a descendant of Genghis Khan, was reared by a Native American elder in South Dakota and eventually settled in Barnardsville, North Carolina. Marrited to his longtime love, Inez, he felt as though they were living the American dream. Paul enjoyed a career as a music teacher in Buncombe County. He's currently a classical cellist for the Asheville Symphony and Inez helps her clients as a massage therapist.

Inez, Zelemkhan, Paul

In winter of 2018, after several organ transplants failed, Paul was in desperate need of a new kidney. Zelemkhan began witnessing his father going downhill quickly, with Paul's energy level rapidly declining. Wanting to do something for the dad who had given him so much, Zelemkhan decided to see if he would be a match for his Paul. Thankfully, he was - but what makes their story even more remarkable is the fact that Zelemkhan is Paul and Inez's adopted son. 

On January 23, 2019, Dr. Alex Toledo, abdominal transplant surgeon at UNC Hospitals and a Family House board member, successfully removed Zelemkhan’s kidney. DrPablo Serrano then successfully transplanted the healthy kidney into Paul’s body.

During their stay at Family House, Inez, Zelemkhan, and Paul (pictured above in that order) were able to take comfort in the many therapeutic activities at our hospitality house, including the meals prepared by our volunteer meal providers, getting to know several guests, spending time with the therapy dogs, and enjoying the evening entertainment. Inez shared, “our stay was wonderful. This is such a great community.”  Paul feels like they “won the lottery” when they were able to get a room here. “It’s really comfortable here," Zelemkhan told us, "I would choose this place over any other."

Asked what keeps them going, Zelemkhan shared that in addition to the Native teachings that provided him a foundation, “My dad saved my life and now I want to save his.” We wish the Ghosthorse family all the very best as they begin this next journey.


  1. Kelli pfortmiller ReSue's avatar
    Kelli pfortmiller ReSue
    | Permalink
    Please forward to Paul and the family. Aho
  2. Vickie Spencer (formerly Clark)'s avatar
    Vickie Spencer (formerly Clark)
    | Permalink
    The Ghosthorse family is forever in my heart. They are special people, indeed.
  3. Frank A Parker's avatar
    Frank A Parker
    | Permalink
    Sending prayers to my nephew Paul, Inez, and son.

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