Meet Jon and Michele
WRITTEN BY MICHELE LEW
Open heart surgery. Three words together that probably raise most families’ anxiety. Our family was no exception.
My husband, Jon, had open heart surgery at Kaiser Santa Clara at the end of October. The surgery went well - phew, a big exhale! - and he moved into the cardiac ICU after the procedure.
His stay in the hospital lasted longer than we originally anticipated, and I found myself stressed with taking care of our son, driving to Kaiser to check in on Jon, and balancing my job responsibilities in San Jose. I had to curtail my daily walking and reflection time in order to juggle the added demands on time.
One morning, as I was worrying about how to manage a required work meeting from Jon’s hospital room, I realized that JW House was an option.
After visiting Jon, I enjoyed the walk from the hospital to JW House, where I was immediately greeted by a warm and helpful volunteer. I asked if I might be able to do a Zoom meeting, and the JW House team offered me multiple options including a quiet, private room or an outdoor table in the warm fall sun. And they offered me a hot cup of coffee and a homemade snack!
I was able to set up outside, connect to wi-fi, and fully engage in my meeting. Over the next few days, I enjoyed a similar routine - sometimes using the private office space, sometimes enjoying a snack in the dining room with other visitors, sometimes soaking up a few rays of sunshine in the outdoor courtyard.
Every time, the people at JW House were gracious and helpful, without being intrusive. My experience felt like a home away from home…but with better food and no cleaning responsibilities! The short walks to and from the hospital provided me a refreshing chance to stretch my legs, breathe deeply, and clear my head.
The respite that JW House provided helped me keep my sanity during an extremely stressful period.
I am forever grateful! JW House is a gift!