TAMPA — Davis Islands residents who live on Columbia Drive will have new neighbors next week.
That’s when Tampa General Hospital plans to begin moving recovery patients into its first “transplant house,” where people can recover from surgeries in the comfort of a real home.
The house, at 18 Columbia Drive, has three bedrooms and three bathrooms as well as a washer and dryer, full kitchen and two furnished sitting rooms. It’s meant to accommodate patients who travel from far away to undergo organ transplants at the hospital and would have to make frequent return visits for follow-up treatments.
“This is going to be a comfortable, safe, convenient place for them to transition to going home,” said Sjonne Mabbott, the hospital’s manager of regulatory compliance for transplant services.
An opening ceremony for the transplant house, the first of two dwellings the hospital plans to open, was held Friday morning.
In 2011, Tampa General bought the houses adjacent to the hospital campus on Columbia Drive — one for $550,000 and the other for $1.1 million.
The Tampa General Hospital Foundation raised more than $1 million in a yearlong campaign to renovate and furnish the homes. Hospital employees donated about $40,000 toward the project, hospital officials said.
Tampa General will begin renovating the second house, at 34 Columbia Drive, in May.