Self-isolating from his family to help COVID-19 patients, Brian Callahan stands outside the loaner 36-foot camper that sits next to his family home.
A scoutmaster, Dennis Bryant strives to do a good turn daily. So when the Pasadena resident learned of a Kent Island doctor working in the midst of the pandemic who had to move out of his house for his family’s sake, Bryant stepped up. He offered his $30,000 camper as a place for the M.D. to live.
“It was the right thing to do,” said Bryant who, on Palm Sunday, coupled the 36-foot RV to his Chevy Suburban, drove it to Stevensville and gave the keys to a stunned Brian Callahan, an interventional radiologist at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton.
“Keep it as long as you need it,” said Bryant, who turned 49 on Saturday. “And thanks for all that you’re doing.”
Callahan, who began treating coronavirus patients in late March, is married with four young sons. His wife, Emily, has asthma, uses an inhaler daily and is prone to pneumonia. That her hubby would have to leave home was a given.
“I served in Afghanistan for eight months in 2012 amid rocket attacks,” said Callahan, 47, who was an Air Force major. “But this [pandemic] is more frightening than being in a war zone because you can’t see the enemy. Even with masks on, it’s scary.”
He’d planned to sleep in his garage, on a futon, with no bathroom. Then Callahan’s wife posted her plea on Facebook, Bryant’s family saw it and offered to help. Within two hours, the camper was pulling into the Callahans’ driveway before their wide-eyed kids.
“There were squeals of delight, a definite ‘wow’ factor,” Emily Callahan said. Then the doctor packed a suitcase and moved into the air-conditioned RV which sleeps 11, has two kitchens, a shower and a big-screen TV.
“I’m not roughing it, for sure,” Brian Callahan said. And while he can’t socialize with family, his 7-year-old twins make him cards that say “To a great daddy, we love you” and tape them to the camper’s door.
Though they’d never met, Bryant and Callahan hit it off. Growing up, Callahan was an Eagle Scout, the order’s highest rank. Bryant’s son Andrew, 13, is a second-class scout in his father’s Troop 414.
“One of the scout laws is to be helpful," said Bryant, who works for a fire protection company. “Hopefully, I’m leading my troop by example.”
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