Kidney Transplant Program

Planning Your Stay

As your family begins its transplant journey, it can help to understand what to expect along the way. From evaluation through postoperative care, the transplant process is long and often challenging. At Texas Children’s, we provide you with the information you need to plan for the next step, and the support to help you through it.

What to Expect: FAQs

Your evaluation process will be scheduled over the course of 2 or 3 days. You can plan for several days of tests and meetings with doctors, social workers and other members of the transplant team. Before transplant, your child will require monthly visits to Texas Children’s for lab work while on the waiting list. During this time, your child can be followed by a Texas Children’s nephrologist or can be followed by a local nephrologist in your area.

Plan to be available 24 hours a day when waiting for a transplant and able to get to Texas Children’s within 3 hours of receiving a call that a kidney is available. This means that if you live more than 3 hours from Texas Children’s, you’ll need to arrange for housing during the waiting period. Your social worker can help point you to available options and additional resources to finance a temporary relocation.

After your child receives a kidney, it’s best to stay in the Houston area for 4 to 6 weeks for frequent clinic visits and blood work.

Contact your insurance provider to determine your plan coverage and any supplies (such as oxygen and feeding supplies) that will be covered upon relocation. Some insurance plans may provide financial assistance for relocation. Many area hotels and the Ronald McDonald House participate in Texas Medicaid’s housing program. Medicaid may also help cover the cost if you need a hotel room while the transplant candidate is in the intensive care unit, after release from the hospital, if it is medically necessary for you to stay in the area.

Where to stay when you are not from Houston

As one of the nation’s top transplant centers for children, we have experience in providing advice and support to out-of-town patient families. Many families must make tough decisions about whether the entire family or only certain members will relocate to Houston. The Texas Children’s Hospital kidney 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. An overview of options include:

Hotels and motels

Many local hotels and motels offer discounts to families of patients in the medical center. Your social worker has lists available of nearby hotels/motels, the services offered and estimated rates. You’ll also want to find out if cooking and laundry facilities are available. If your family members wish to stay in the area after the transplant, they should make plans to stay in a local hotel, apartment or guesthouse.

Houston-area Ronald McDonald House

The Houston-area Ronald McDonald House is about 1 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.

Nora’s Home

Nora’s Home is an affordable short-term housing option specifically dedicated to providing pre- and post-transplant housing for transplant patients and their families. It is conveniently located on the Texas Medical Center campus.