Home provides lodging for families of sick vets

September 22, 2009 Hines Fisher House, a home away from home for families of our nation's heroes, will be completed in April of 2010.

The Fisher House built on the grounds of the Hines VA Hospital will enable family members to be close to a loved ones during hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury.

Holly Wright, a social worker at Hines, has been named the Fisher House manager.

"Instead of having to pay out of pocket to stay at a local hotel, they'll be able to stay free of charge at Hines Fisher House. Lovely community kitchen, dining room, family room, living room," said Wright.

The Fisher House will be there for veterans' families who have someone they love going through long-term rehabilitation, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and blind rehab.

"Having family members available to relieve some of that distress can absolutely help the outcome," said Dr. Ron Krishnamoorthi, Hines VA Hospital.

Army Colonel Joe Ling is from Minnesota and is the Hines Blind Rehabilitation Center.

"That would be a great opportunity to have my family here for the family program where we could participate together," said Col. Joe Ling.

"My home by car is eight hours away. Therefore, when I'm here I'm completely isolated from friends and family," said Matt Millar, Hines blind rehab patient.

Veterans or active duty military receiving treatment may stay at the Fisher House if accompanied by a family member or caregiver.

One requirement is that guests must live at least 50 miles or more from the Fisher House.

"Currently, vets in active duty will have priority for the availability of the house," said Wright.

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