Remember when you were little and you were sick just having mom or dad home with you made you feel a little bit better. That need, to be surrounded by loved ones, doesn't go away when we are older and on the mend. That's also the reason behind the Prairie Heart Guest House. It's now a 32 room motel adjacent to the Avera Heart Hospital and North Central Heart where families can concentrate on healing not hotel lodging.
Sharon tears up and tells us, "It was really scary when we found out he had a bad heart. It was a shock to everybody because he's always so careful with what he eats."
The last thing the Hibl's needed or wanted to worry about was trying to find a place to stay in Sioux Falls so they could be by Don's side. They were so grateful to have the Prairie Heart Guest House as an option.
Sharon says, "I didn't know the area and when they said there was a hotel hooked on to the Heart Hospital it was the answer to my prayers. I didn't have to worry about driving somewhere not knowing where I was going. Plus, I could come up and be by Don while he slept even if that was in the middle of the night. It was so nice to be so close."
In 2002 the Guest House opened as a 21 room motel connected to the Avera Heart Hospital. It was made possible by a group of wives whose husbands are with North Central Heart. It is open to patients and their families at a very reasonable cost. It's only $47 a night. Due to the critical nature of cardiac care, families often don't know how long they will be staying at the hospital, so they don't take reservations at the Guest House. Instead, they work day by day to accommodate new families coming in.
Demand got so big they were turning away as many as 10 families a night so in 2007 they added a 2nd floor to the Prairie Heart Guest House with 11 more rooms with the possibility of adding 8 more. One half of the hallway is done and in use, the other half isn't but if the demand requires more rooms, they will finish those rooms.
Don still has a long road ahead of him and if that road brings him back to Sioux Falls and the Heart Hospital his wife and son know they will be right by his side once again.