Palatine man loans RV to Lombard nurse so she can keep family safe

  • Ryan Gable of Palatine, front, is loaning his recreational vehicle to nurse Stephanie French, rear with mask, so she can be next to her home while keeping her family safe after her days on the job around COVID-19 patients. With her is her husband, Ryan French.

    Ryan Gable of Palatine, front, is loaning his recreational vehicle to nurse Stephanie French, rear with mask, so she can be next to her home while keeping her family safe after her days on the job around COVID-19 patients. With her is her husband, Ryan French. Courtesy of Ryan Gable

  • Palatine resident Ryan Gable with his 36-foot Winnebago Vista LX at its previous parking spot. He's temporarily lending the RV to a Lombard nurse so she can be next to her house while keeping her family safe after her days on the job around COVID-19 patients.

      Palatine resident Ryan Gable with his 36-foot Winnebago Vista LX at its previous parking spot. He's temporarily lending the RV to a Lombard nurse so she can be next to her house while keeping her family safe after her days on the job around COVID-19 patients. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/15/2020 5:13 PM

A Palatine man has found a medical professional to take him up on his offer of free use of the family RV to avoid spreading COVID-19 at home after caring for infected patients on the job.

Ryan Gable said he delivered the 36-foot Winnebago Vista LX on Monday to the Lombard home of nurse Stephanie French.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The married mother of two young children has been working in an intensive care unit at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Now, instead of going into her home after a day on the job, she can stay in the RV parked on the driveway.

"They're so appreciative," Gable said Wednesday. "And it's just funny because they're so appreciative and I'm the one who's just like, 'No, no no. We all have to thank you.'

"This is just a dumb, big RV. This is very simple to lend this out. Walking into a hospital with everything that's going on, that's crazy. That's the courage, not lending out an RV."

Gable said he wanted to do something useful with the Winnebago instead of letting it sit idle. He was compelled to offer free use of it after seeing news reports from across the country about health care workers who are sleeping in tents, garages or cars rather than going home.

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He said he received about 10 email requests since the offer became public early this month, The main condition was that the recipient needed a driveway long and wide enough for the 36-foot Winnebago.

Gable said he and his wife, Carrie, decided on French in part because she has children ages 6 and 4. French's husband, Ryan, described his family's situation in an email to Gable.

"This is just giving her a little bit of comfort," Gable said. "I think that's just what it is. Anything that we can do as a society to support these people, that's just what we have to do. No choice."

The Frenches could not be immediately reached for comment.

Gable's mother, Carolyn, is well known to Daily Herald readers. A single mom who worked for 12 years as a waitress before building a successful transportation company in Lake Zurich, Carolyn Gable launched the Believe Project with the Daily Herald in 2014.

Every December since, she's provided the newspaper with 31 envelopes, each containing a $100 bill. Every day during the month, a $100 bill is sent to a reader who submits the most compelling story for helping others with the money.

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