It’s been a scary couple of months for Robin Pack and her family. Her dad, Jimmy Worles, went in for open-heart surgery at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on October 19.
“What was supposed to be a five-day stay, we’re still here,” said Pack. “A healthy man walked in and now he’s fighting for his life.”
After surgery, Worles kept bleeding. He had to go back in for surgery and his health took a turn for the worse. His kidneys stopped working properly, his lungs got infected and doctors had to perform a tracheotomy.
“It’s been a long battle,” said Pack.
The West Virginia native and her mom, Patricia, couldn’t just leave him in Roanoke all alone, but commuting back and forth each day or paying for a hotel room for weeks on end wasn’t an option.
“We’d have been in a car or something,” said Pack.
That’s when Pack found Terrianne Julian, the executive director of the Roanoke Hospitality House.
“We hear that very, very often, ‘We would be sleeping in a car or in a parking garage,’ or ‘We just wouldn’t be able to be there,’” said Julian.
When it’s built, the Roanoke Hospitality House will be a place where patients and their families can stay while they get treatment at medical centers in the Roanoke Valley. They’re raising money for the house and to put families up in local hotels in the meantime.
“No one should have to be in the hospital alone and no family member should feel like money gets in the way of staying where they need to stay,” said Julian.
Over the holidays, the Hospitality House is looking for help by selling ornaments to businesses and corporate donors for $1,000 and asking for any donations, even as little as $5.
“I know times are tight. Everybody’s feeling it,” said Julian, “But if we can just all pitch in a little bit, we’re going to make this a reality very, very soon.”
Pack’s dad is still in the ICU and she doesn’t know how long he’ll be there, so she’s asking for prayers.
“What they’re doing is beautiful. It’s just, words are not enough to express, when you’re in this situation and you can find that kind of help, what it means,” said Pack “It’s truly a blessing.”
To learn more about the Roanoke Hospitality House or to donate, click here.