Christus St. Michael, in Texarkana, Texas was one of my favorite hospitals to work with during my years in the transplant field. The reason was the helpful amenities provided for its patients, family and friends of patients as well as its staff. Saying they went all out is an understatement.
One of the hospital’s provisions, that remains high on my admiration list, was the long-term parking. Patients who needed to be close to the facility for treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation, had access to a fully equipped camper/RV park.
The hospital grounds didn’t stop with a place to park a camper. They also incorporated easy access to a series of local, river-side trails. There, patients and their loved ones could get in some exercise, relax and read a book, pray or just enjoy the scenery. It also gave them access to other folks there for similar reasons, providing a way to make new friends.
Since my own cancer challenge began, I’ve often felt a burden to pray for the many people who are alone and have no one to take them or stay with them, during the myriad of procedures that prohibit them from being alone. I learned of at least a few of the extra efforts they have to make to get back and forth from a procedure, while I was in a rehab facility for a few weeks, recovering from surgery.
The facility provided a handicap-equipped transport van that would take residents to appointments early in the morning, often well before their appointment time. Sounds great, but I remember being very thankful to be able to decline the offer so I’d not have to leave three hours ahead of a procedure time, in which the prep required me to stay near a bathroom until about an hour before the procedure began.
At Christus St. Michael the patients staying in the RV park were able to stay in the comfort of their home-away-from-home up until their appointment time and then make the short trip from their camper to the hospital. There was no need to find a driver or travel long distances. Past that, they didn’t have to worry about monies going for fuel, extra mileage on their vehicles or having to miss treatment appointments due to foul weather.
I get it that medicine and hospitals are a business and have to generate a profit. I’m also sure that the option for patients recovering from procedures in their camper would surely be a de-stresser. It’d be especially helpful for patients prohibited from driving after a procedure. And then, there’s the plus of the camping option freeing up more hospital bed space.
Now that my own family is having to make frequent trips from our little village to the city, I’m even more appreciative of the RV and trail facilities I encountered at Christus St. Michael. It’s been nearly two decades since I was on their campus. I wasn’t able to find out if their RV park and access to the walking trails are still a provision, but I hope so. I wish the hospitals in my area could find a way to provide similar accommodations.
“As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them...” Luke 6:31 World Messianic Bible
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