Michael Simpson is happy to have a home away from home.
"Really love the place. Everybody is so nice. The place is beautiful," he said.
A double lung transplant recipient, he needed an affordable, comfortable place to stay before and after the procedure.
"We're from Kentucky. We're country folks and you just feel like you're home," Simpson said.
He's stayed at what's called Nora's Home, a new extended stay lodge for transplant recipients and their families.
"Their families are welcome here and it's all on a first come, first served basis. It's a warm, inviting environment," Nora's Home operations manager Marlida Daniels said.
Each of the 16 rooms has two queen beds, private bath, televisions. There's a group family room, kitchen and dining room.
"That really just allows people to see that there is hope on the other side of the transplant, and that when they come to Houston, they will come back a new person with a second chance at life," Daniels said.
Nora's Home is named after Nora Gaber, a seven-year-old who died in a car accident. Gaber's parents are doctors and her legacy is undeniable.
"Her organs were able to save the lives of a lot of people who were waiting for a transplant. In honor of Nora, the Gabers founded Nora's Gift Foundation. And from Nora's Gift Foundation came Nora's Home," Nora's Home assistant director Taylor Crowder said.
The new facility opened in Thanksgiving and is all the better for a donation from a local hotel.
"It was a great way for us to be a part of the medical center and our community," said Alfredo Matos, general manager of the Wyndham Houston Medical Center.
The Wyndham Houston Medical Center, which just underwent a renovation, donated much of the furnishings there, understanding the need for a place like Nora's Home.
"The one thing I see all of time are the smiles and how pleased people are with being here," Matos said.
People like Simpson who couldn't be more grateful.
"You get to talk with people who are going through or has been through, it really helps you out," Simpson said.
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