A helping home

IU Southeast’s Milton Trent loans RV to emergency-room doctor on virus frontlines

Milton Trent didn’t have to think twice about it. “If you can help, help,” he said.

The IU Southeast UITS network systems team lead and his wife, Shelly, graciously offered their 31-foot travel trailer to a local emergency-room doctor serving the New Albany community. Dr. Nick Passafiume has been staying in their RV about three weeks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trent said his desire to help stems back to his military background. “It’s automatic, it’s assumed. You’re going to do what you can do to help, and not ask for thanks.”

Residents of Georgetown, Indiana, the Trents were matched up with Nick through a Facebook website, RVs 4 MDs To Fight the Corona Virus. Nick has two small children, and his wife is immune compromised. He can’t risk infecting his family with COVID-19 because of his work as a director of ER.

nick in milton's rv

GRATEFUL GUY. Here's Dr. Nick Passafiume enjoying his temporary digs. 

Milton's IT background came in handy in preparing the RV for Nick. “We had the RV in storage, but we moved it to our back patio. I installed a 30-amp RV circuit, so the RV has full wireless capabilities, including Alexa and television,” Trent said. The couple also stocked up the RV with food and provisions, including plenty of toilet paper, and they do Nick’s laundry. “We also have dinner together, while social distancing, of course,” Trent added.

rv in the backyard

NEW NEIGHBOR. The 31-foot travel trailer is parked on the Trents' property, so Dr. Passafiume can avoid paying rent at a camp site. 

Milton said IU has really stepped up to the plate during COVID-19 by keeping staff and faculty employed with full benefits, and by allowing people to work from home. His team monitors the server systems for IU Southeast. “We’re able to contribute and help everyone else. We make sure professors have the proper connectivity and devices they need to do their jobs,” he said.

Milton and Shelley

THE FACES OF GENEROSITY. Milton and Shelly didn't have to think twice about helping the ER doctor and his family stay healthy. 

“In IT,” he said, “if you don’t plan ahead, you fail.” Milton said IU planned ahead with its latest IT upgrades, so there’s enough bandwidth, and IU was able to scale up to meet the demands of the current crisis.

Learn more about Milton and Shelly Trent’s RV loan in The Herald-Times