An established 110-site RV park in the St. Louis area has become a convalescent center and waiting room for lung transplant patients at nearby Barnes-Jewish Hospital, according to an article in the St. Louis Dispatch.
The Dispatch reported that at least 22 patients have chosen to stay at the park while waiting for new organs or recovering from surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the busiest lung transplant facility in the world
The park, which is 10 minutes from the hospital, is cheaper than most furnished city apartments and offers a tight-knit, quiet setting for transplant patients.
“Look how homey it is,” said Virgie Hill, 62, sitting outside her RV. “We’ve got our plants, our rug, our chairs. And we had to have a home here for our cat.”
Hill’s husband, Flavius Hill, 63, had a double lung transplant May 4. They’ve been at the park since February.
“We were going to rent an apartment, but we found this place and decided it would work better,” Virgie Hill said. “The apartment was just so impersonal.”
The RV park has all the perks, including clean showers, a laundry room and sun deck overlooking a small swimming pool.
“The park has full amenities, and they’re just great to patients,” said Rebecca Bathon, clinical social worker for the hospital’s lung transplant program.
This unplanned partnership between a world-renowned medical facility and a $400-a-month RV park, though, might be short-lived.
Owners of the St. Louis RV Park want to do some RVing of their own. They’re looking for a buyer, and there’s no guarantee the place will remain an RV park.