Staying ‘Strong and Calm’
Early in Carolyn Counterman’s pregnancy, she and her husband Ryan received the frightening news that their baby had a prenatal congenital heart defect. The doctor referred them to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s Cardiac Team for treatment, far from their Grand Rapids home.
Although Carolyn and Ryan were confident in the team and birth plan, baby Edison had a different plan. Unexpectedly, Carolyn went into labor and had to have an emergency C-section. Baby Edison was born in respiratory distress and diagnosed with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia in addition to his heart defect. In order to breathe properly, he required the support of a CPAP as his anxious parents spent the next three weeks waiting for him to be stable enough to go home.
Imagine being so far from home and family with a critically ill child while recovering from a C-section. When their social worker provided the opportunity to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, Carolyn was overwhelmed with relief. “Amazing!” she said. “The best part was being able to get the rest I needed to heal so I was focused when doctors needed to discuss Edison’s care.”
Carolyn was also grateful for the support she felt when her husband needed to return to work in Grand Rapids a week after Edison’s birth.
Your caring and generous support helps families like the Countermans who are far from home facing the stress and uncertainty of caring for a critically ill child. Keeping families close allows them to focus on what is most important: their sick child.
Just a year later, the Countermans needed Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor again when little Edison underwent open heart surgery. Now, 4-year-old Edison recently had another surgery but is doing remarkably well. Like many little boys you may know, he loves sharks and trains, and enjoys reading and swimming.
“The Ronald McDonald House was such a blessing for us and anyone who gets to stay there. RMHCAA provided so much for us that it helped us stay strong and calm,” Carolyn said.
Please give and help Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor keep families close like the Counterman Family and provide the support they need.