Military families are accustomed to hardship and change. They deal with situations that
less than one percent of this nation has to due to their service to our country. One such
family is the Young family: Perry, Samantha and their little girl, KinLee.
Army for three years, Perry’s first deployment resulted in injuries sustained from a suicide
bomber in July 2013. Now in a wheelchair, he is receiving the best treatment possible, with
his wife and daughter a short walk away.
Sam and KinLee called the Tampa Fisher
House home for several months while her husband Perry, US Army, was being treated at the
James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida.
“Perry got injured in
Afghanistan and they originally sent him to Landstuhl, Germany, so I stayed at the Fisher
House there,” Sam explained. “That was the first time I’ve ever stayed in a Fisher House. I
didn’t know they had these for families – it was so nice to come back from the hospital and
have somewhere homey to stay.”
After Landstuhl, Perry went to Walter Reed National
Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland; and finally to Tampa, Florida where the
remainder of his recovery would be.
Knowing that they were in Tampa for the time
being, Sam brought their daughter, KinLee, to the Tampa Fisher House with them.
“It was so nice having a Pack n’ Play provided and something to give KinLee a bath in,” Sam
said. “I didn’t have to lug all of that, plus her high chair with me in my car. They even
had baby food here; it’s the little things that made a difference.”
recovers in the hospital, he knows his wife and daughter are safe and cared for – and that
he can come over to visit anytime.
“For me, the Fisher House helps because I can get
out of the hospital and come here,” Perry said.
Sam added, “It’s hard to stay at the
hospital all day and night, and when he comes here, he gets to watch football on a big TV
and KinLee can play on the floor next to him.”
With an open-design kitchen that leads to the family room, the Young’s can cook or relax and
keep an eye on their daughter.
The communal living space has also allowed Sam to
have “group therapy” with the other guests or take some of their advice as a new
“Every night we’re all in the kitchen and we ask about each other’s days,” she
said. “These people are going through the same thing so they get it.”
Sam and Perry
expect to be in Tampa permanently and once Perry becomes an out-patient, he will continue
receiving treatment at the VA hospital. At that time, they will find a permanent home in
Tampa, but for now they will call Fisher House their home.
Having the Fisher House
was not only convenient, but financially a blessing.
“I can stay at the hospital as
long as I want to and walk back here,” Sam said. “It’s convenient, you don’t have to worry
about the small stuff; I have my own space. I couldn’t imagine how much harder it would be
without the Fisher House. You’re already ripped away from your routine and what you expect,
there’s life before injury. Then everything gets swept upside down. It would be harder and
so much more expensive if we didn’t have this – we haven’t incurred that because we have