Woman saves family from homelessness

January 2, 2008 7:52:52 AM PST
Billy Bostick survived a rare and dangerous double transplant this summer. His insurance didn't cover living expenses. So he and his mother, who cares for him full time, were facing homelessness until a good Samaritan stepped in at the last minute.

In a matter of hours Pamela Valentine's van was going to be the home she and her son shared. Billy had survived a rare heart-lung transplant in August. Stanford hospital offered short term housing but in the midst of rehabilitation, the medical bills piled up. Since Pamela is Billy's full time care giver, they had no extra source of income; four months after surgery, they were broke.

"It just was overwhelming to think that he would end up getting sick,, because we didn't have a place to live," said Pamela Valentine, transplant recipient's mother.

Several organizations have already stepped in to help this family. In fact, a local church paid their entire last month's rent so they could stay in temporary housing in Palo Alto. But that ended Dec. 31st.

At the 11th hour a friend referred the mother and son to Nan Wentworth.

"I just like to help people," said Nan Wentworth, good Samaritan.

The 83-year-old does more than just help transplant families in the Peninsula. She's opened her Menlo Park home to them for decades free of charge, for as long as they need during recovery.

"It's endless as far as I'm concerned, I've had people in and out for two years. It's nice to have people here." said Nan Wentworth.

The family moved in and away from what could've been their new year reality.

"There are angels sent out from heaven at times to help those that are in need," said Billy Bostick, transplant recipient.

In 2007, Billy Bostick and his mother admit, they needed a lot. Now, in 2008 - there's stability. For the first time in a long time, they're making plans for the future.