Planning Your Stay

The heart transplant process can be a long and difficult path for families. In order to be placed on a heart transplant wait list, patients must stay within one hour of the hospital at all times and must be available with their parents around the clock. The one-hour rule also applies to the first 3 months after transplant or until the patient is determined to be clinically stable by doctors.

Emotional support

When planning temporary relocation to Houston for a transplant, your family will want to talk to the Texas Children's heart transplant social worker and communicate with members of the transplant team. It’s important to rely on family and loved ones too. The emotional support from loved ones can be very important for both patients and caregivers during the transplant process.


Many families must make difficult decisions about whether the entire family or only certain members will relocate to Houston. The Texas Children’s Hospital heart transplant social worker can help you research available housing options near the hospital, and our financial counselors are available to help manage the cost of relocation. Many families choose to stay at the Houston-area Ronald McDonald House, which is approximately one mile from the Texas Medical Center. The Ronald McDonald House offers a home away from home for families of children undergoing treatment at the Texas Medical Center and provides affordable rates and transportation to the medical center.

Other short-term housing options include Nora's Home, an affordable lodging option for pre- and post-transplant patients and their families, as well as Texas Medical Center hotels.