HOUSTON - Organ transplant patients and their families now have an affordable place to stay in Houston.
Nora's Home is a facility that will give them a sense of a home and an instant support group.
"When you are waiting for surgery and all that, the last thing you need is logistics problems," expressed Chuck Perilloux. "And Nora's Home takes care of that. Believe me."
Perilloux is waiting for a lung transplant. He lives six hours away in Louisiana, but needs to be constantly within three hours of the Texas Medical Center to be on a transplant list. The answer: Nora's Home.
This new facility is a place where transplant patients and their families can stay while waiting for a transplant or recovering after surgery.
"That's all I want to do -- get my life back. You sit in a chair, holding one of these is not much of a life. So right now, this place is a Godsend," said Perilloux.
It costs $75 a day to stay at Nora's Home. This can add up since most transplant patients wait weeks or even months for an organ to become available.
To ease the financial burden, the costs are subsidized through an Adopt-A-Family program.
"Our charges are based on a sliding scale based on need," explained Kayla Lehmann, Executive Director of Nora's Home. "To date 95 percent of our patients have used Adopt-A-Family."
This facility is the first of its kind to service the Gulf region and only one of six in the country.
Nora's Home has 16 private family bedrooms and baths. The building has a fully set-up kitchen, dining room and family room. To help families cope, there is a meditation room, support center and garden.
Thirteen of the 16 rooms are filled. They expect to start a waiting list in the coming weeks.
Once that happens, they will expand to Phase 2 on a lot the sits next to the building. They plan to include more rooms and a Transplant Living Center where people can learn more about organ transplants and gain support.
The facility bears the name of a 7-year-old girl who was killed in a car accident. Her organs were donated to help other sick kids.
To find out more about Nora's Foundation or about the Adopt-A-Family program, visit http://www.norashome.org/.
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