Temple: Ground broken for house for transplant patients, families

(Photo by Megan Vanselow)

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Ground was broken Friday in Temple for a $1.1 million home away from home for transplant patients and their families.

Transplant Recipients International Organization or TRIOS of Central Texas says the facility will accommodate as many as eight transplant recipients and their families in the weeks after transplant procedures at Scott & White Medical Center.

Work on the facility at 2114 South 15th St. in Temple should be completed by next January.

“They're five minutes from the hospital in case there's a problem or an emergency, doing labs or doing whatever they have to do. It's going to be a very nice facility.” Dean Winkler, co-owner of CRW Construction Company, the company building the facility, said.

Winkler received a liver transplant a year ago and says he can identify with the patients who will stay at the facility.

"Having their families there will be huge. I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for my wife and my daughters helping me post-surgery." Winkler said.

The facility will be named “Amy’s House” in honor the daughter of John Henderson, the president of TRIOS of Central Texas.

Amy was an organ donor when she died of a brain hemorrhage in 2012 at Scott & White, the same hospital at which she was born 38 years earlier.

After her death, Henderson said he knew donating her organs was something they had to do.

“We all knew exactly what Amy would want. It was an easy decision at a very hard time for us to say ‘Yes, do it. She needs to be a donor, she would want to be a donor.’” Henderson said.

More than 70 people benefited from the donation of her organs, tissue and corneas, he said.

“I don't think there's a day that you ever get over losing your daughter, but you kind of incorporate that into your lives and one of the way we've done that is by honoring her memory and helping to build this transplant hospitality house.”