Why We Give
I am a civil engineer retired from local government (the Town of Holly Springs), and now self-employed and working as a contracting engineer for the NC Department of Transportation on multimodal transportation special projects. I live in Holly Springs with an awesome husband, and we have three grown children who are in various stages of life from college to a few years beyond. I have three pretty incredible sisters, the two best parents in the world, and we all live in North Carolina. We have an extremely close and caring family from our wonderful parents on down to all of our children (aka the 9 grandchildren).
Our family crisis began a little over 10 years ago when my father learned he needed a kidney transplant. He is a retired civil engineer and land surveyor, a veteran, a business owner, and pretty much a tough (soft) guy.
My sisters and I have been very involved from the beginning in the work involved in learning about and navigating this particular medical field. My mother even more so with the added duty of full-time caregiver. We are a close family and we just knew that we would do whatever was needed – in addition to much prayer:) of course – to see this through for the best outcome possible. My father navigated dialysis then peritoneal dialysis, but was then told he was too old to remain on the kidney transplant list by one of the hospitals he was working with. Wake Forest Baptist Health, however, welcomed him to their transplant program. He received prostate cancer treatments before we got the call that Wake Forest Baptist Health had a kidney for him. My father was a very high risk patient, and the doctors were plain spoken about this fact. It was just after the kidney transplant that we learned of the SECU Family House.
My family’s continued special and wonderful experiences with the SECU Family House inspired me and my parents and siblings to give back financially and by sending wish list items. Here’s why:
1. Our gifts go towards tailoring the facility for recovering patients and families.
When we first toured the Family House we were absolutely amazed and – frankly – found it hard to believe that everything was so perfect as it seemed that first day. EVERY detail was considered when designing this place for recovering patients and families. Cleanliness, friendliness, beautiful food prep areas, refrigerators, dining area, visiting “parlor”, computer, rocking chairs, transportation, safety, gorgeous gardens, patios, extra toiletries, smiles, library, chapel, beautiful paintings, friends, cleanliness, sweet cards, compassion, laundry facilities, laundry detergent, dinners by volunteers, more smiles and compassion, warmth, love, caring, peace and quiet, security 24/7, classes, tips, a sanctuary from the long hospital days, your own food storage areas, hot coffee, the ice water machine, drinks, snacks, someone attending downstairs 24/7, people who understand exactly what you are going through, compassion, hugs. smiles (again)….honestly who would believe it? I am repetitive about certain things because that is how I feel. At a cost that can be afforded for long stays – you have to be kidding!
I am completely convinced that my father would not be alive if it hadn’t been for the Family House – it was an essential addition to the wonderful medical care he received.
2. Our gifts allow families to take care of patients (or themselves) in all ways.
This home allowed us to take care of my father in a way that would not have been possible at any other place – physically, mentally – in all ways. The ability to cook healthy meals, to store fresh foods, to store his numerous medications, to control the environment with respect to cleanliness and exposure, to have such a warm safe place to stay – there is no doubt this place has been a life saver for him. And for my mother – if you could see the relief on her beautiful but tired face when we find out that we will be able to stay at the Family House during hospital stays and returns for doctor “marathon visits”. Our family is very private, and this too has been an important benefit to staying at the Family House.
3. Our gifts offer respite after a long day at the hospital.
A typical day at the hospital was very long. We always kept one person with my father – usually my mother – and one of us girls would head over bright and early to take Mom coffee, to help with things, and to relieve her so she could go back to the Family House and get a shower, etc. When we first went to the hospital 6 years ago, the food choices were healthier there but not so much the last few visits. Days at the hospital were exhausting waiting on doctors, waiting on tests, advocating for our father. It was so wonderful to know we had a safe, warm, friendly place plus dinner to come back to at the Family House.
4. Without donors we would have been staying in hotels.
We could not have afforded a hotel for the time we had to be here AND we would not have been able to control the environment as needed for healing that was so essential for my father….. so I would say that it is not a far stretch at all to say my father probably would not be here today without the Family House.
Since the kidney transplant six years ago, we have been back MANY times for many different issues – healthcare in western NC not being what it is at Baptist Hospital. We are so grateful that North Carolina has such wonderful healthcare in Winston Salem – my father’s life has been saved many times over here, and today he is doing absolutely fabulous!
That, friends, is why my family and I donate.
~Stephanie Sudano, Town of Holly Springs