The first thing most people learn about parenthood is that plans have to be flexible. So it was fitting that the new Hackerman-Patz House would open four days early to provide a young family the temporary home they needed when their little girl was born premature.
Lucinda Avis was running errands near her home in Solomons, Maryland when she went into labor. She was two months early. Though she had closer options, she drove the hour and a half to AAMC because she wanted the quality medical care she knew the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) could provide. But an hour and a half is a long way from home.
Her new daughter Audrey was born healthy, but she required medical support until gaining her strength. For her husband and 20-month-old son, this could have meant a lengthy stay in a hotel room or a daily drive back and forth from Solomons to visit Lucinda and the baby. But the Hackerman-Patz House offered them a better option.
A home away from home, the Hackerman-Patz House provides affordable accommodations to patients and their families right on the AAMC campus. “It’s a huge benefit that we can all be here together,” says Lucinda. “I can sleep with my family and be right here near the hospital.” The 20 rooms share a common sitting room, kitchenette and playroom, so families have space to relax and recuperate. “My husband was here yesterday for four hours with our toddler,” she says, “and they didn’t have to just stay in our room all day, because there’s all this other space.”
When Lucinda arrived at AAMC, The Hackerman-Patz House was still days away from opening. But she and her family needed to be together, and to be close to little Audrey. So staff opened their doors and welcomed the Avis’s. “I really feel like they’ve gone above and beyond what they needed to do. It’s just been more than what was expected.”
With the help of the Hackerman-Patz House, Lucinda and her family were able to focus on welcoming their new daughter and celebrating her arrival.