Recovery home for injured soldiers opens in Alberta
Published Saturday, October 6, 2012 10:39PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 6, 2012 11:08PM EDT
Dubbed the Ronald McDonald House for Canada’s military, Valour Place is offering those injured in combat the comforts of home during their recovery.
Following a two-year, $10-million fundraising campaign, Valour Place opened in Edmonton on Tuesday.
The 10,000 square-foot facility is a first of its kind in Canada, featuring 12 private suites and common spaces for injured or sick soldiers, and their families. Members of the RCMP receiving treatment in Edmonton can also use the house.
Many compare it to the Ronald McDonald charity houses across Canada that take in families of children battling serious illnesses.
Those who have been injured in battle say it’s important to have family close by.
When 23-year-old Cpl. Brock Blaszczyk emerged from a coma after stepping on a bomb in Afghanistan, he said the first thing on his mind was his family.
“One of the first things I asked was ‘How are mom and dad? Are they mad at me?” Blaszczyk told CTV News.
Following the accident Blaszczyk recovered in a temporary home in Germany that accommodated families visiting injured soldiers.
While he was recovering from losing his left leg and damaging his right leg in the blast, Blaszczyk said it helped knowing his family was close by.
“It definitely puts a big ease on your mind.”
Honourary Col. Dennis Erker, chair of Valour Place’s board, said that is the Edmonton facility’s goal.
“There’s more to healing than physical healing,” he said. “It’s the importance of family close by. I think all of us understand.”
With a report from CTV Alberta’s Bureau Chief Janet Dirks