October 4, 2017 5:47 pm
Updated: October 4, 2017 9:04 pm

Plans revealed to house families of out-of-town KGH patients

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The KGH Foundation is launching an ambitious $8 million fundraising campaign to build JoeAnna’s House, a home-away-from-home for families of patients travelling for specialized medical care.

The 20-room building will be constructed on the corner of Royal Ave. and Abbott St., the current site of a hospital staff parking lot.

“Today we’re here to celebrate the launch of a community effort to provide a home-away-from-home for people who are required to travel for care at KGH,” said KGH Foundation CEO Doug Rankmore during a media event on Wednesday.

One in four beds at KGH are filled with patients from out-of-town.

Until now, there’s been limited options for families to stay while they’re visiting loved ones.

JoeAnna’s place will be named after the late Josef and Anna Huber.

“We wanted to create something in their honour, a legacy for them that would be something that would reflect the kind of people that they were,” said son-in-law Terry Schneider.

The ability to stay on site will help mothers like Lisa Dear.

Her son Zacharias, now a rambunctious and happy 18-month-old, had a precarious entrance into the world. Zacharias was born seven weeks premature by C-section and weighed just two pounds and 14 ounces.

He was flown from Creston to the neonatal intensive care unit at KGH that same day.

His mom soon followed.

“They discharged me after two days, so ya after two days I found myself in a place where I didn’t know where I was going to go or what was going to happen with us, and it was really, really scary,” Dear said.

Lisa and her husband bounced from hotel room to hotel room for 35 days while their son received medical care in Kelowna.

They’re grateful to hospital social workers and charities who stepped up to fund accommodation and groceries, but Dear said she would have benefited from an on-site place to stay.

“Even being there and getting to know some of the other parents, there are so many families from out of town, these little rural areas like Nelson, Trail, Castlegar, really it would be such a huge benefit,” she said.

Completion is slated for the fall of 2019.

WATCH: Kelowna woman concerned about quality of care at KGH 

 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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