‘Home away from home’: Nonprofit home set to open for people traveling far to take care of sick loved ones
FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - One woman is starting a nonprofit to house care takers that have to travel to get loved ones the medical attention they need.
Carolyn O’Byrne is the founder of Daisy’s Place. She said she knows what it means to be worried for a loved ones life as well as your own. O’Byrne spent almost 20 hours a day by the bed side of her 17-month-old daughter who had congested heart failure.
”Terrified to sleep in an old van, in the middle of the parking lot, in the middle of the night by myself,” O’Byrne said.
And for about four hours a day, she would sleep in a van. She lived in Athens but her daughter, Daisy, needed to be at Vanderbilt Hospital. She is opening Daisy’s Place so no one coming to the Shoals has to go through what she went through.
“This is going to be the blessing that I wish I had had because if I had someone loving on me in that time, the way that I will be loving on other people, it would have made such a difference.”
O’Byrne said knows many others with stories like hers. One of the volunteers helping Obyrne open Daisy’s Place, Julie Fulmer, said she wanted to join the nonprofit because she takes care of her husband. Fulmer said thankfully when she needed a place to stay while her husband was in the hospital...she had one but most people don’t.
“You’re kind of in a shock,” Fulmer said. “You don’t think about yourself. You don’t think about when you’re going to eat. I’ve thought several times ‘when was the last time that I ate.’ You know you just don’t think about those things until you’re forced to think because your stomach is rumbling or you know your laundry even.”
Both women stressed one thing in particular.
“How important it is for the caretakers to take care of themselves so that they are able to take care of the loved ones in the hospital,” O’Byrne said.
Daisy’s Place will be able to house around four families at once when it opens. O’Byrne said applications are not open yet but they will be online as soon as she can raise a bit more money and find a few more volunteers. Daisy is now 22 years old and excited to have a namesake.
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