By Cierra Putman
ODESSA - Whether it's your mother, father, wife or husband a loved one stuck in the hospital means long hours of worry and stress.
And it's even worse for families who live far from the hospital, but there's a new friend of Medical Center Hospital ready to lend a helping hand.
"I call this home because it is a home away from home," Lucia Herrera said.
Herrera and her son, Jesus, may look like they're relaxing at home in Presidio watching television in two comfy recliners, but they are in Odessa at Friendship Home.
"You've probably already know about the Ronald McDonald family room that helps provide lodging for our families of children in the hospital," Adina Crain, Friendship Home's Volunteer Coordinator, said. "We basically compliment their program at the hospital so our patients are 18 and older."
MCH and the West Texas Cancer Center rented out the sixth floor at Lincoln Towers to run the program.
Families and patients needing a place to stay just have to live outside of Ector County and provide a credit or debit card as insurance to be accepted.
The first resident checked in mid-January and since then others have followed suit.
Friendship Home says families are just in shock when they get here. They have their own kitchen and dining area, a place where they can relax and watch some TV and then in the bedrooms they have comfy beds as well as some small touches to make them feel right at home.
Lucia's husband was flown to Odessa for medical treatment on January 9.
Since then she's spent a month stressing and living in a motel.
Now she only has to worry about her partner of more than 50 years.
"I've always been there with him whenever he got sick," Herrera said. "I think it's important that they have family support."
Now, Friendship Home is there to support the families.
Medical Center Hospital is currently looking for volunteers to greet the families when they first come to Friendship Home.
They are also accepting donations of food to help stock the pantries.