Guest Spotlight: The Laytons Feel at Home Here

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Ralph Layton hasn't been in the best of health the past thirteen years. Twelve years ago, he was diagnosed with a hernia. Seven years ago, he had six stents placed in his heart to increase the blood flow. Last summer, this soft-spoken gentleman, hailing from Smithfield, North Carolina, had quadruple bypass surgery. With his heart finally on the mend, Ralph and his wife of twelve years, Chrissy, began making plans for the future, hoping to get back to some sense of normalcy in their lives. Then Ralph felt that something was “stuck in his throat” a few months ago. A cat scan revealed a cancerous growth in his throat. Ralph needed six weeks of radiation treatments. 

The Laytons

Ralph also needed a place to stay during his radiation treatments at UNC Hospitals. SECU Family House was here for him and Chrissy. They drive home to Smithfield each weekend before returning to Family House on Sunday evening to begin another week of treatments. 

Chrissy candidly shared with us that—because she had recently lost her job at a plumbing company, and Ralph has not been able to work for the past several years—she turned to “Project Access,” a physician-led volunteer initiative in Johnston and Harnett County that gives low income, uninsured residents access to comprehensive medical care at no cost. “Had it not been for the donors at Family House, we would not have had a place to stay during Ralph’s treatments," Chrissy shares. "We just don’t have the money to travel back and forth to Smithfield each day.”

Asked what Family House has meant to them, Ralph and Chrissy describe Family House as a “blessing and a godsend.” They’ve made many new friends here, and are hopeful that their positive attitude will rub off on some of the other guests who are going through a tougher time than they are.

We treasure our guests, and are touched they're so willing to share their stories of healing and hope. Ralph and Chrissy, part of our growing Family House family, are no exception. As Ralph's treatments approach conclusion, all of us at SECU Family House wish them well as they return to their lives in Johnston County, cancer-free.


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