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Ryan House offers caretaker parents a break

Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board answers questions after the release of a report on the CSB's investigation into Freedom Industries's 2014 storage tank leak that contaminated the local water supply during a news conference at the Four Points Sheraton in Tornado, W.Va., on Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016. (Christian Tyler Randolph/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)

A Valley organization is looking to give parents who act as caretakers for their children a break.

“When they come back from their vacation or they come back from their rest or break, they’re ready and reenergized to come back and be that caretaker again,” said Ryan House Executive Director Julie Bank.

The facility is made to give parents more than just a long weekend. Patients can stay as long as seven continuous days and up to 28 days per year at no cost.

Ryan House, in Phoenix, is one of just two facilities in the nation that provides around-the-clock care to children with debilitating illnesses that requires them to be on feeding tubes or other treatments.

“We have folks from all over the country looking at us and how they can build a Ryan House-type place in their community,” said Bank.

The facility opened in 2010. Bank said it has all sorts of treatment areas, from a hydrotherapy pool to an adaptive playground and art therapy room.

Despite offering daily care along the lines of a hospital, Ryan House is anything but.

“Ryan House was designed to be a home. It was very important from the folks that actually built the building that it was not going to feel like a medical facility,” said Bank, adding that a hospital-like setting can be a bleak reminder for all involved.

Ryan House works with families who have a child with a disease that will likely prevent them from reaching adulthood. The facility even offers end-of-life services, as many of its patients are nearly as comfortable there as they are in their own home.

For more information on Ryan House, go to


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