First family to stay at VA's Fisher House calls it a 'blessing'
A place to call home when your loved ones are sick can make a world of difference, Between hotel stays, eating out and travel, the expenses beyond medical bills can add up just as quickly.
That's where the Fisher House at the Ralph Johnson VA Medical Center is making a difference, and the first family to stay there says it was more than just a place to stay; it was a blessing.
With one phone call, Mark Davis says he started packing. His father, Isaac, is a Vietnam War veteran, and a patient at the VA in Charleston.
"They said they had to do emergency surgery, we can tell you more once you get here," said Davis. "I threw some clothes in the car and bee lined it straight here."
Davis made the two hour drive from Savannah to Charleston to find out his father was suffering from prostate cancer complications.
"I was almost in tears, I was thinking I couldn't afford to stay in a hotel room, especially not the length of times he's been in the hospital," said Davis.
Davis says Vicki Johnson, the manager at the Fisher House, met him at the door with a hug.
"When families come here to stay with us they are already going through difficult times, we want to make sure it feels like home," said Johnson.
Davis stayed at the Fisher House for two weeks. His father is still in the hospital recovering, and Davis says they are taking it day by day.
Davis was the first of 21 families, so far, who have stayed at the Fisher House, since it opened in early January.
It's free for veterans and their families travelling at least 50 miles for care at the VA.
From the outside, it's a brick building. But on the inside, Davis says the Fisher House is much more.
"One night I was having some trouble, my father wasn't doing well. One of the guys pulled me to the side and said i'm a vet as well. We shared some tears. I couldn't get that at a hotel," said Davis.