Building Terry’s House: Chasing Dreams

The last thing on Summer Bourez’s mind when her 7-year-old son was critically injured in a car accident was where she was going to stay while he recovered. Like many others, she never expected her loved one would be involved in a traumatic accident.

“In a matter of seconds your whole world just changes,” Bourez said. “I was with my mom when we got a phone call that shattered our lives. My sister was killed in a car accident and Chase was with her.”

Last April Chase Bourez was airlifted to Community Health Center-Cedar, formerly known as University Medical Center. He was then transferred to Community Regional Medical Center during the relocation of acute care services from the Cedar campus to the downtown hospital. Chase was in a medically induced coma for more than a week with multiple injuries to his head and jaw.

Housing a trauma center with the largest service area in California often means treating patients that come from afar. Community Regional’s Table Mountain Rancheria Trauma Center is the only Level 1 trauma center between Los Angeles and Sacramento. As these unexpected situations arise, some families of patients have had difficulty finding a place to stay to be close to their loved ones in their time of healing.

“We spent the first night on the floor of the hospital with other families. It was very crowded. There’s no privacy,” Bourez said. “You just want to curl up in a ball and cry, and you can’t do that. There’s always someone there. There are always people walking in and out.”

The Bourez family lived near Lindsay, more than an hour away. With nowhere to stay, they lived in Chase’s hospital room by day and in an RV in the parking lot by night.

Community Medical Centers is now embarking on what was once its dream – a home away from home – which is now becoming a reality by providing families of patients who are critically injured or sick a safe and secure place to stay while their loved ones heal. Terry’s House will be a 17,000-square-foot, two-story home within walking distance of the main entrance of Community Regional.

The construction of Terry’s House has been made possible through generous gifts from Tom Richards, Bank of America and Lennar Homes. Community Medical Foundation is launching a capital campaign to raise $3 million to fund and equip the home. Its goal is to raise additional funds for operations, and to provide the housing at low or no-cost to families that qualify.

Bourez said Terry’s House would have been a blessing for her family and knows first-hand what it will mean for future families.

A year after the accident, Chase is back to being a kid.

“He’s back to riding a two-wheeler,” Bourez said.

“And he’s back to being ornery,” said Darian Bourez, Chase’s father.

For more information on Terry’s House, please visit TerrysHouseFresno.com.


This story was reported by Millie Tang. She can be reached at mtang2@communitymedical.org.