The families we help at TLC come from all kinds of backgrounds. They are always grateful to have a home-like place to stay during a difficult time in their lives.
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When patients are first listed, they and their families have already suffered a great deal. At TLC, patients and caregivers find a safe place for addressing these issues; they find they are not alone, and seemingly insurmountable problems can be solved. Guilt, exhaustion, pain, fear, financial worries and emotional ups and downs are all issues shared openly. Here are some of their stories, in their own words:
During the two years that I waited for my lung transplant, one of my primary concerns was where my caregiver and I were going to stay while I was recovering from surgery. I made numerous trips to Denver, trying to find lodging. The only accommodations available were in hotels and motels, which were inadequate, cramped, and expensive. I couldn’t imagine spending three months in these places or how I would pay for it. Luckily, a friend of mine told me about TLC shortly before my surgery. When an apartment opened up at TLC and we moved in, I was so relieved and happy to finally have a safe and comfortable “home” that I actually cried. I can’t tell you what a difference it made to have a kitchen and dining room, separate bedrooms and baths, and a clean space for my IV drip and dressing changes. As if all that weren’t enough, TLC allowed me to pay what I could afford, which was half your usual rate. I wish I could also thank the generous people who support TLC financially. Without their help, I could never pay for the wonderful home and care that I get at TLC. There really aren’t words to say what you and TLC have meant to me. I only wish you could see inside my heart. ~ Carol K.
I truly have been blessed with another chance at life with my double lung transplant. I was down to 20% breathing capacity on my tests and declining. Despite saving as much money as possible for the needed transplant and lodging, I was well short of the needed amount and was not sure what to do. There were times when I just wanted to throw in the towel due to these and other problems. My salvation came when another former resident told me about your wonderful program and after receiving the call for a double lung transplant, it became a reality. There is no way that I could have done this without the help of TLC, especially after going six months without income after being forced to quit my job due to the cystic fibrosis destroying my body. My mother and I are so thankful for TLC and your financial donors’ caring attitudes and willingness to help people like myself in these situations. I plan on returning these great deeds by doing charity work once my body has fully healed. It is a rough road ahead certainly, but it now appears manageable now that I received this needed lodging assistance. I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart and will spread the word of your agencies kindness and devotion to helping others. ~ Clay B.
My father, Candido A., is a 57 year old liver transplant patient at the University of Colorado. His story begins in 1978 when he contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion at age 26. Our family is from Albuquerque, New Mexico and has had to temporarily relocate to Aurora, Colorado in order for my dad to have a second chance at life. Our experience with TLC has been incredible. The condos come complete with all the basic necessities for an extended stay. The transplant process places a great deal of physical and emotional strain on the patient and the family. The last thing that any family wants to do while their loved one is in is critical condition is to worry about having to purchase various items for their lodging conditions. Having this done for you prior to your arrival is essential to the overall well-being of transplant patient and their families. It has been such a blessing to our family that TLC provided us with a place to stay. Not only is it comfortable and well furnished but it also provides us with enough space for family members to stay while they are visiting. After being on a 14-24 hour shift at the hospital, it is very comforting to know that you are able to rest in the comfort of ‘home’ instead of a hotel room. While my dad has been in Colorado, he has had numerous complications. Since July 14, 2009, my father has had two liver transplants and three additional surgeries. During a short time, between transplants, my dad was able to leave the hospital and stay in the home-like atmosphere of the condo provided by TLC. My dad fell in love with the place. After being confined to his hospital room day after day, he was ecstatic to proceed with his recovery in the comfort of home. Even though he could not walk very far, he appreciated the fact that he could sit outside on the patio and enjoy the smell of rain and the cool breeze from the fresh air at dusk.
~ Sonia A
There are angels among us. I know because I had a lot of them before, during and after my transplant. They knew what I needed every step of the way. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and then was able to go directly from the hospital to my TLC apartment. TLC was founded by a wonderful woman (one of my angels) by the name of Susan Hamelin. Susan was also a transplant patient, so she knew how important it was to have a place to live during a recovery period. My husband Sam and I spent nearly five months in one of TLC's beautiful apartments. Our unit had two bedrooms, two baths (1 for the patient, 1 for the caretaker) a kitchen, dining and living room. Everything was furnished including the bedding, washer & dryer, etc. We had this beautiful place while other out of towners were sharing bathrooms and kitchens with many other patients and caretakers. I had my lung transplant on July 1, 2005 and I am doing just fine. I plan on being around now for my young grandchildren's weddings.
~ Judy M.