New Fisher House for Veterans and their families opens in Columbia
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Officials with The Columbia Veterans Affairs Health Care System held a dedication ceremony for the newest Fisher House opening on Garners Ferry Road.
The new home will be the 94th home to open across the US, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
According to the Fisher House Foundation, military and Veteran families can stay at one of the homes free of charge while a loved one is in the hospital.
Dr. M. Christopher Saslo, Chief Nursing Officer for Veterans Affairs and Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Patient Care Services, says the home may remove hesitation that some Veterans feel when it comes to getting the healthcare they need.
“When a Veteran needs to come into the facility for healthcare, and they’re going to be here for any length of time. and their caregivers, their family or their spouses, have a place to stay with them, or on behalf of them while they’re getting the care that they need. So it gives them that safety net to be able to not be far away from their families during difficult times,” says Saslo.
Retired SGT Pat Sherrod-Elliott shared her family’s story at the dedication ceremony.
Sherrod-Elliott says she lost her son, Marine Corps Sergeant Sean Victor, to a condition called ALD in 2021.
“Sean was a proud Marine, and he was a character. Really. He loved all sorts of sports. He loved traveling, and he loved his wife and his son. I have a 6-year-old grandson, and hopefully he will follow in his Dad’s footsteps one day,” says Sherrod-Elliott, adding, “To have that support and comfort and care and compassion of the staff there — it meant the world to me because truly that was one of the worst times of my life. And to have the comfort of being at the Fisher House with the staff and their full support, that meant the world to me and my family,” says Sherrod-Elliott.
The Columbia Veterans Affairs Health Care System reports that it serves more than 90,000 Veteran patients annually, and according to Fisher House officials, about 25,000 families across the US stay at one of the homes each year.