Go Jim Go: FedExFamilyHouse

(Memphis) In the shadows of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, the building that displays a giant heart, is a home away from home that beats the same way for families such as Glenda Voight.

Voight said, “My son had a liver transplant.”          

Voight has traveled 500 miles from Churchill, Tennessee to have her 15-year-old son, Skyler Varner, cared for by doctors and nurses at Le Bonheur in Memphis.        

What makes her son’s operation less stressful for her is that she’s able to stay right across the street from Le Bonheur at the FedExFamilyHouse on Poplar near Ayers, “I think it’s peaceful for parents who are stressed out and what they’re going through and I really think it’s exceptional and the staff here is wonderful and it’s a beautiful place.”       

The doors to the free-of-charge FedExFamilyHouse opened almost two years ago.

The six million dollar facility donated by FedEx, managed by Wilson Hotels and owned by Le Bonheur is the first in Memphis to provide housing for families of patients receiving extended care at the hospital.       

Bridgett Askew is the FedExFamilyHouse general manager, “We are just here for whatever they need. It’s very important to have somebody there to support you and the staff are not only employees, but a support group.”

Each family is able to stay in one of the 24 suites complete with sun rooms, a day bed and sitting areas and large bathrooms.         

Families also have access to a kitchen which features four separate cooking areas, 24 refrigerators and a huge dining area.

There’s even a full-service library and a game room for families.

Askew said, “They let us know it’s a blessing and that it does feel like a home away from home and they do appreciate the hospitality and it makes them feel stress free.”        

That means a lot to Glenn Varner, “To say it’s a home away from, I say it’s a castle away from home.”

Varner is Skyler Varner’s grandfather and a guest at the FedExFamilyHouse, “It means a lot. It puts your mind at ease because of the ordeal you’re going through with a loved one that’s in the hospital and the hospital isn’t that far.”        

Employees consider the guests here more like family.
 
Askew said, “You’ve been there for them to cry on their shoulders, you’ve been with them to pray with concerning what has happened with their child. So, it’s a blessing to actually be in this position.”                 

It’s a feeling shared by Glenda Voight, Glenn Varner and countless other families who say the FedExFamilyHouse makes them feel right at home because it shares Le Bonheur’s heartbeat.

Varner said, “I have a belief that things don’t just come about. I think God has his hand in doing things and inspire people to do things at certain times and I think God has his hand in this.”      

Voight said, “I am very religious and this a blessing. it’s a Godsend.”