“I remember the first day I got to the Fisher House, and my mom and I were just blown away with how nice it was and how well we were treated. We were probably both in tears the first day after I had my surgery.”
That comes from Marine Cpl. Bridget York, who suffered a stress fracture and a torn tendon during training. Her mother came to support her after her surgery and the two of them stayed at the Camp Lejeune Fisher House
“And just knowing that someone cared that much, it meant so much to us,” she said.
Bridget was an athlete in high school and was used to aches and pains while training. But a sudden numbness in her right side during a 5-mile run, coupled with pain, alarmed her. She learned from her doctor that she had extensive damage to her right hip that would require the use of crutches and surgery.
She found herself stuck in the barracks as she awaited surgery. It was hard to do daily tasks, and she found the experience isolating and frustrating. So it was a major issue when she learned that she would need 30 days to recover from surgery.
“The case manager, I kind of explained my concern to them,” she said. “And the case manager talked to me and told me about the Fisher House. I had heard of it before through a few family members, but I didn't know a whole lot about them. I didn't know how much of a difference it would make for me until I needed it."
In her last week of recovery, Bridget met another Marine who arrived with his mom.
“I know I wasn't the only Marine that had ever had an injury,” she said, “but I felt like I was the only person going through it at the time. To be able to talk to another Marine that had a similar injury to me, he tore his ACL, we really connected over that.”
“I know my mom and his mom, it helped them so much to know that their kids weren't alone in the process and that they had someone else and another family going through the same thing as them,” she said. “And his story was so similar to mine and especially his mom's story about, you know, not knowing where that she was going to stay to help take care of him, not knowing how she was going to finance that stay.”
She was so touched by her experience at Fisher House that she organized a volunteer trip with her unit back to the Fisher House.
“I knew right then and there, when I was staying those first few days in the Fisher House, that I felt the need to just give back in some way, because of everything that were given to us. I've never really had treatment like that before.”
“One of the biggest lessons I learned when this happened to me was how much it means to just have somebody reach out to you, to have somebody be there, kind of as a shoulder and to help you, and coming to the Fisher House and seeing people that didn't know me from anything but said, “’You are still worth it, and you deserve to be treated well.’”