For the Baker family, the long journey to recovery started with small acts of kindness and compassion.
PITTSBURGH, PA (December 21) – Steve Baker was hiding Easter eggs around his home in Sioux Falls, SD when the unthinkable happened. Feeling something was wrong, he put down his grandchild and experienced a massive stroke. Upon learning that her husband, might never regain the ability to walk or talk, his wife, Jane Baker, sensed that she might have to confront the journey to his recovery on her own.
Incredibly, Steve’s condition improved and he was ultimately diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder caused by brain damage. As a U.S. Navy veteran who served for four years on the U.S.S. Hector, Steve qualified for The Program for Intensive Residential Aphasia Treatment (PIRATE) at the Pittsburgh VA. The program, which was piloted at the Pittsburgh VA, had proved successful for many Veterans. The Baker family soon made the trek to Pittsburgh for their month-long stay.
“When we walked through the doors after a long trip from South Dakota, everyone welcomed us warmly. At Family House, you can feel the empathy around every corner,” explained Jane Baker.
During their stay at Family House, Jane saw her husband thrive through recovery. The Bakers found themselves bonding with fellow PIRATE participants from Texas and Alabama, as well as guests at Family House, developing lifelong friendships with both. “I was truly overjoyed by the kindness and services Family House provided,” explained Mrs. Baker.
“During our stay, Steve surprised me by pushing for a walk to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to use the complimentary tickets Family House had provided. We ended up walking to get lunch, then to Phipps, and back again—a nearly five-mile roundtrip!” Mrs. Baker continued.
Now back in South Dakota for continued treatment, Steve was able to continue his recovery journey and celebrate his progress by participating in a long-standing tradition: serving as the Captain for Disabled Veterans Fishing Tournaments. Steve is now excited to return to this Tournament as a participant.
“If you have to walk this journey, or any medical journey, Family House is a wonderful place to stay,” Jane said.
About Family House
Family House, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that provides a special “home away from home” for patients and their families who are in Pittsburgh seeking medical treatment. Governed by a community Board of Directors, Family House offers convenient, affordable housing to reduce the emotional and financial stress for people facing a medical crisis in a city where they may be strangers.
To learn more about the organization and how to get involved go to www.familyhouse.org.