Penn's transplant house provides 'sense of family' for patients

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Six blocks down from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, away from the commotion of constant traffic and construction that surrounds it, sits a sanctuary for people like lung transplant patient Bob Wormser and his wife Anne.

It is the Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House, a place to stay for the past decade for more than 4,000 families from around the world.

"It has become a sense of family. It's nice when we do have to come -- it's familiar faces," said Anne Carmody.

"What we do is we create a welcoming space for guests to stay who are transplant patients, their family members, their care providers," said Kirsten King, who has been working at the transplant house since the day it opened in 2011.

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"We were very intentional into making it as hospitable and welcoming, as stress-free as it can be," she said.

The home has a gym, courtyard, kitchen, dining room, living room filled with books, and a staff that, according to residents, "genuinely care about the people staying here," said Comody.

While other facilities like it were shutting down during the pandemic, Penn's transplant house stayed open. King says what these patients go through is challenging enough, so they had to find a way to keep this source of comfort.

"To know they have a safe place to land where they feel safe, secure, cared for, it makes a huge difference," said King.

Most importantly to King, it also gives the house a sense of home.

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