Walsh Family Village Celebrates 10th Anniversary


When a family member is in the hospital, it can be emotional. 

And not being able to be near them can make matters worse. 
But with Avera Health’s Walsh Family Village, families can stay together through a tough time. 

On September 30th, 2011 Clint Dreyer was assaulted, leading to a traumatic brain injury. 

“I was basically in a coma for about a month. I was in ICU for 28 days, I know that but… through that all I had 4 brain surgeries,” Dreyer said. 

Dreyer’s family was having a tough time leaving his side, making it hard to take care of their own personal needs. 

“My mom thought it would be just a great idea to take a shower but she was not wanting to leave the hospital, and then she learned about the Walsh House,” Dreyer said. 

“Patients can come here while they’re needing specialized care at Avera McKennan and families can stay here. It’s a retreat and a safe haven while they’re here with a loved one,” Candace Nelson said. 

The Walsh Family Village became Dreyer’s new home while he received physical therapy and speech therapy for the next three months.

“We do have a nightly fee in the form of a suggested donation, but we do not turn anybody away for the inability to pay,” Nelson said. 

In the last 10 years the Walsh Family Village has served more than 54,000 people.

And Dreyer is thankful to be one of them. 

“It would’ve been very expensive. And just, it would’ve been stressful. It would’ve created a stress, and at that time I could not handle stress,” Dreyer said. 

He says the housing unit made such an impact that he still visits about once month, seven years after his stay.  

“It’s a home away from home when you have to go through the things and difficulties of a crazy health care issue,” Dreyer said.

To read more about Dreyer’s story and learn how you can help keep the Walsh Family Village funded, click here.

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