Sitting in a hospital waiting room chair for hours and hours. Legs dangling. Blood circulation cut off. This takes a heavy toll on a caregiver’s body, as was happening to Elisabeth Pacheco and her nieces.

“You don’t realize the impact that has on your body to not lay down or put your feet up,” Elisabeth says.

Brain surgery puts strain on family members

After her sister, Beverly, underwent emergency brain surgery at the hospital, a new phase for the family began. It happened at high speed, yet the hours themselves went by slowly, day by day. Elisabeth, her adult nieces, and their friend stayed the night at a hotel across the highway from the hospital, but it wasn’t something they could afford to continue for an extended period. Driving the hour home and back again every day wasn’t an option, either. Elisabeth tried twice and had no idea how she made it home.

“You don’t realize the stress of what is happening and what a toll that is taking on you emotionally,” she says.

Reba’s Ranch House allows the family to stay near

After learning about Reba’s Ranch House, completing background checks, and getting a room, the family entered a peaceful, home-like atmosphere. With the ranch house just across the parking lot from their hospital, the family was able to easily change shifts with one another in the waiting room or in the room with Beverly. None of them wanted to leave her alone.

“It’s my sister, and I can’t imagine being away from her,” Elisabeth says.

A nice meal makes all the difference

After a few days at Reba’s Ranch House, she told staff member Jeri Carosella she was headed out to find something to eat. Jeri promptly said, “No, you’re not. You’re going to go into the kitchen and dish up your food and have some time to yourself.”

“And I was like, ‘okay!’” Elisabeth recalls with a laugh. “It was the first meal I hadn’t had in the cafeteria in days.”

Throughout their stay, Elisabeth, her nieces, and their friend ate meals provided by local churches. They were able to relax with their feet up on the bed instead of dangling in a waiting room chair.

“I’m a general manager for a hotel,” Elisabeth says, “and I was so impressed with how Reba’s Ranch House is run. It reminds me of my hotel, where people are there and taking care of you. Immediately when you walk into the ranch house, there’s this calming that comes over you.”

Back at home and coping

Elisabeth’s sister is home now, though they have to adjust to new normals with her condition. But their stay at the ranch house gave them the place they needed to pull together as a family.

“Having people who are loving on you and caring about what you’re going through, is just amazing to me,” Elisabeth says.