The families are what make the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fisher House more than just a building. They make it a “home away from home”. Here are a few of the many family stories.
A Comfortable Transition – The D Family“First and foremost I would like to say thank-you so much for all your kindness, hospitality and compassion that the staff and the Fisher House Foundation has offered my mother & myself during this critical time in our life for making this our home away from home. All of you have definitely made this a comfortable transition. My mother came down here from our home in Alaska for what we thought was going to be an in & out procedure. But unfortunately, my mother encountered a heart attack in the recovery room which prolonged our stay by another 12 days. We are so grateful for the Fisher House & its staff and all the donations provided by all the others out there that support the Fisher House. Thanks is not enough, so my mother & I will definitely be one of those honors to help others feel the way we did here at the Fisher House. May god bless each and every one of you the way you have blessed us. Thanks” Cheryl L. Denton Retired SFC (Daughter) Joyce A Scott (Mother) North Pole, Alaska May god be with you everyday
We are grateful! – The V Family“My son Andy returned from Iraq recently and needed surgery. I flew from Los Angeles to be with him at surgery day and offer him the family support he deserves. We are extremely proud of him and the other’s who risk it all to preserve our liberty and our country. I did some research as to where to stay for 4 days, but my son was told I could stay at the Fisher House!! The staff was very nice, friendly and explained everything. They offered food, supplies and even my escort was amazed of the amenities and most importantly the convenience of being in such a close proximity to Madigan hospital. Fisher House is doing a tremendous job by assisting us, the families of military personnel while they find themselves in pain and us, the parents trying to find a way to stay close to them. I am very grateful to Fisher House. I will never forget the hospitality offered by Nikki and the staff. My son is doing well and will have full recovery. We are Grateful! On behalf of our family, Thank You Fisher House.” The V Family Whittier, California
A Mother’s View – The W Family“The hardest part of my life is being called by a doctor from the hospital at 4:15 in the morning telling me that if I could fly now get it done because your child is very sick and been admitted to Madigan Army Hospital. With it being spring break it is so hard to find a plane ticket. Luckily with the help of the internet my daughter was able to find one left that could fly me the next day. Flying here from California and not knowing where you’re going to stay is impossible to think about. As a mother the only thing on your mind is to be in the hospital and be at your child’s bedside while she is on life support. With the help of hospital staff they were able to get us in Fisher House. My husband and 3 other daughters came after 4 days and were also able to stay here. I was worried financially because I didn’t know how much it was going to cost us to stay here. When I found out it was free as long as we want I was crushed and almost fell on my knees. Who could do such thing as what Fisher House does? It is nice that they have so much food and other stuff to offer my husband and 3 daughters. I’ve been very thankful for this place. Unfortunately my daughter is still in the breathing machine and I haven’t seen her awake for 15 days. Her 24th b’day is coming this month and I prayed that she would at least be sitting on her b’day so she could blow her b’day candles and taste her b’day cake. But the Doctors say it is a slow & long progress. Thanks a lot Fisher House.”
***Note: At check out time their daughter was sitting and responsive!
“But I am Home” – The Cruse Family“The Fisher House Family, Thank you for everything! I was 29 weeks pregnant and my water broke. I was terrified. We have a beautiful daughter, Alexis, that is 3. A year later we lost our son and our world was crushed. On December 27, 2008 we found out we were pregnant and were overjoyed and hopeful. The pregnancy was normal, Daddy returned from a deployment and 3 days later we were rushed to the ER. On June 24, 09 our daughter was born at 3 lbs 2 oz and 15.4 in. She is our little miracle. We were happy and excited, but then we realized we live over an hour away! The social worker told us about Fisher House, which eased our stress. We moved into the Fisher House with our daughter Alexis and appreciate this experience. After 10 days my husband had to return home to work while my daughter and I stayed here. The Fisher House gave me the chance to see my baby every day in the NICU and a nice bed for my family to sleep in at night. While caring for our new baby Brynna Kailani, our 3 year old had a lot of new experiences. As a mother I felt horrible for moving her around and spending hours in the NICU. Then we had a Christmas in July event. Santa came and there were already tears of joy for the kindness of others. Santa handed my daughter a DVD and told her to take it home. She looked at Santa and said “But I am home.” All my problems and worries lifted away. She is only 3 years old and she was OK with everything. Thank you for making our family feel at home. God bless you all.” Chris, Sierra, Alexis & Brynna Cruse USS Nebraska Blue, Bangar, WA
A Huge Hug and Heartfelt THANK YOU!“I am 23, Navy wife since Oct 27, 2007 and a mommy of a wonderful 7 month old boy. Life was perfect as a full time homemaker until 2 weeks ago when my husband, 29 found out he may have cancer. He was admitted May 4th, 2009 to begin treatment for stage 4 type B Hodgkins Lymphoma. Our life has been turned upside down with all our family 2 states away. The Fisher House has brought me so much comfort already! I feel so blessed to be able to stay so close to my husband during these hard days. It’s amazing that strangers, yet my military community offer something as this, such generosity! I wish I could give everyone who donates their time to personalized gifts a huge HUG and heartfelt THANK YOU!” Krystal Dill Silverdale, WA
A Second Chance“The path that has led us here has been rough and rocky but as the daylight fades to black outside my window, I pray that this journey turns out. It began in July 2007 when we decided, after the birth of our second child, that our family was set. I chose to have a tubal ligation and my husband, son, daughter and I moved forward with our lives. Then, on December 7, 2007, the unthinkable happened. As I was leaving work, I received a frantic call from my daycare provider saying that Lauren, my 8 month old daughter, had not awoken from her nap. They did CPR and called 911. I arrived at the hospital shortly after the ambulance, trying to reach my husband, who was out of town. I finally got through to him and told him that Lauren was in the hospital. He immediately began the 80 minute drive home. I hurried to the ER, where my daughter’s tiny body lay motionless on the examination table. The doctors and nurses continued to work on her, pumping air into her lungs and doing chest compressions. All I could do was cry and pray. Finally, after half an hour, the doctor said “Ma’am, we have to call it.” “I know,” I replied, and collapsed on the floor. My baby, my beautiful little girl, was gone. The doctors left and I picked up her lifeless body and snuggled her close, breathing in the scent of her baby lotion that still lingered from her morning bath. My mom came in and so did our daycare providers. A few friends stopped by, offering their condolences. But I really didn’t feel any of it. I was numb from shock. A while later, my husband rushed in and grabbed our little girl, holding her to his chest. “No!” he screamed. All I could do was cry. “Please, wake up!” he kept saying. Finally he laid her back down on the table and covered her up. I took the tiny barrette out of her hair and kissed her forehead. We both said goodbye and finally walked away. That will forever be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. As the days passed, we planned her funeral and cremation and welcomed friends and family from out of town. I knew that my precious baby was in Heaven now and that she was happy. I knew she would forever be in peace and spend the rest of eternity with Jesus, but I still wanted her back. After Christmas, we began discussing the possibility of having another baby. I talked to my doctor and she recommended IVF. So began the journey that led us here. We were accepted into the program at Madigan and one of the nurses mentioned Fisher House. I was thankful for the help when we made our first trip to Seattle from Montana in May 2008. In June, we found out that we would be coming to Ft. Lewis for 3-4 weeks for the IVF process. I again called the Fisher House and they approved our case. When we got here, there were no rooms available at the house, so we stayed at the La Quinta Inn for a week. Then a room opened up. As we came into the house to check in we were greeted with warm smiles and friendly faces. We got the tour and were shown to our room. I was stunned by all the gifts that were provided for our 5 year old son and am exceptionally grateful for all the kind people who donated their money and talents. There were superheroes and crayons, books and stuffed animals. I was especially impressed with the homemade toys, blankets and linens. It made us feel so special and cared for. We’ve been here now for 3 days. It’s truly a remarkable place. I am so thankful to receive the hospitality of Fisher House while we pursue our dream of having another child. After disheartening news today that my egg development is not as good as we had hoped, I was glad to have a safe and comfortable place to come back to think and pray. We continue to be hopeful that it will all work out. As we prepare to head home tomorrow, I continue to thank God for making this trip the amazing experience it has been. After all was said and done, we ended up getting 5 fertilized eggs. We go in for transfer tomorrow and then we head for home. We hope that this will result in a successful and healthy pregnancy. Once again, I put my life into God’s hands and hope that we have similar plans!”
We Came not Knowing What to Expect“Years ago I made a random donation to the Fisher House, not really knowing the extent of their purpose. Wow, we were surprised at all the care they give after our son got injured in Afghanistan! We came not knowing what to expect, but certainly not everything we found here. This house is like a 4 star hotel with all we could ever need. The level and quality of the caring staff is amazing. Everyone is always asking if they can help us in any way. With my husband also in the military and overseas too, this has been a very long year. Fisher House has made it a lot more bearable. Thank you so much.”
Most Important, Support & Kindness“Today my son was born at Bremerton Hospital, he had some complications when he was born and was transported with my wife to the hospital located on this base. Our journey has been a challenge, we are moving from Great Lakes Chicago to Bremerton. I am in the Navy and I am stationed aboard USS Stennis. We are so blessed to come here to the Fisher House, which was such a huge help for me and my family. People here were so wonderful giving us a place to stay, food, bunch of goodies for my kids, cable TV, computer, laundry facilities and most important, support & kindness. Thank you very much for all those people that helped us out and those that make it possible for the Fisher House to be alive for people like me that are in need, I will never forget this and God bless you all.” The Flores Family