An Update and a Message of Thanks this Veteran’s Day from
Fisher House Southern California
Rhoden Canlas is a nurse in the Neurology-Rheumatology unit at the Long Beach VA Medical Center. When the COVID pandemic became extreme this summer, he was transferred to the VA’s Medical-Surgical unit where COVID patients were being treated.
But there was a catch. At home were his two elderly parents, along with his two young daughters, ages 4 and 7. Rhoden is a single parent. The last thing he wanted to do was expose his family to the virus.
That is when he found out about Fisher House. One of his fellow nurses told him he, along with several other doctors and nurses, were staying at the Fisher House on campus. So that’s what Rhoden decided to do while he was assigned to the COVID unit. Some nights he would drive to his parents’ home in Torrance so he could see them and his children, but always at a distance. It was hard to explain to his four-year-old daughter why they couldn’t hug. Then he would go back to Fisher House to sleep and be ready for the next day at work.
Most of Rhoden’s COVID patients made it, but some did not. Those final Facetime or Zoom calls arranged by the RNs for dying patients with their family members were the most difficult things to witness, he said.
All of our VA caregiver house guests have extended their heartfelt thanks to the Fisher House team for making the House available during the pandemic.
We, in turn, extend their thanks to you, since it’s been your generosity and your friendship that have enabled our Fisher House to provide a home away from home to them during the COVID crisis.