KEEPING FAMILIES CLOSE™
That is the core of our mission here at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor. Our two Houses allow families to stay close to their child in the hospital, just steps away. The need we serve is critical, and unfortunately ongoing. Our families come from all over to seek special care for their children. Many come unexpectedly, when an accident or illness changes the course of their lives. They are in an unfamiliar and stressful place, away from their home, and the support of family and friends.
For families like Anderson’s, our House is their home for as long as they have a need. Families come “home” to a hot meal and a place to rest their and regroup. However, we can not provide this support with the generosity of individuals like yourself. By making a commitment to our 2017 Share a Night campaign, you will help provide the financial foundation for the operation of our two Ronald McDonald Houses. This year, we have cared for almost 1,000 families. With your help, we can continue to make an impact on the lives of pediatric hospital patients and their families. Please make your gift or pledge today.
One Mother’s Story…
Our son, Anderson, was born on November 5, 2015, and was a happy and alert newborn when his father and I took him home. We thought everything was fine when I took him to a routine wellness checkup at six months. Anderson’s pediatrician noticed that when he would cry,
he could not breathe. He was in respiratory distress, so she sent us to the children’s hospital in Grand Rapids, MI, for further examination. The emergency department cardiologist examined Anderson’s heart, and his face fell. Dilated Cardiomyopathy. It was not a defect that was easily fixed,
Anderson was immediately admitted to the ICU. I had yet to fully understand what was happening, but everything hit me four days later as I was watching the Michigan Medicine Survival Flight take off for Ann Arbor’s Michigan Medicine C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital with my baby on board.
Our time in Ann Arbor lasted for a total of 400 days. Anderson was in desperate need, and there was not a better team to treat him. When we arrived, we discussed Anderson’s heart function; it was determined that Anderson would need a heart transplant. He went through many ups and downs, until the phone call came that changed our lives, and Anderson received his precious donation.
Life after the transplant has not been any easier. Afterwards, Anderson required more intense breathing options and then ECMO that was even more difficult, and continues to need care 24/7.
Anderson’s story could be pages long. Through it all, a team of nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors, and surgeons took a small and weak infant and helped him grow into a smart and able toddler. Anderson’s setbacks have not kept us from believing in him and what the future holds for him. We know he is going to do amazing things because he was treated by an amazing team.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor was a crucial part of this team. They provided a place for us to live for over a year while our son was fighting for his life. Without them, life would have been so much more difficult and most likely unbearable. I felt like we had gained another family.
Anderson’s care is far from over. His heart transplant is only a temporary treatment, and he will one day need a second transplant. I know that going to the hospital is not a question of “if” but “when.” And when it happens, I know that I will find my place, my home away from home in Ann Arbor. And whether our stay is long or short, we will be met with unconditional love and care from the staff, volunteers and families at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor.