As first time parents, we thought we were as prepared as we could be for the arrival of our baby girl. We were expecting a healthy baby girl, a normal delivery, a short stay….and then home.
However, when Adalyn was born, we very shortly discovered that we were not prepared at all for what lay before us. Adalyn was born with several congenital heart defects and she would also struggle with severe pulmonary issues.
Our world came crashing down around us. The first few days of Adalyn’s life, we were filled with uncertainty, confusion, and pain as doctors and nurses tried to find out what was going on with our precious girl. She was transferred to two different hospitals within her first two days of life, finally ending up at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. Adalyn would go on to spend more than seven of the next eight months living at Mott Hospital. Every day she was there, we were there and one of us would be next to her side during her courageous fight.
One of the most miraculous and enabling components in the community of what would become “Team Adalyn” was the Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor (RMHCAA). It was the reason that we were able to be by Adalyn’s side every moment for those eight months. During the most critical times, ‘home’ was a room on the same hospital floor as Adalyn, just a few steps away from her bed. The Ronald McDonald House within Mott Hospital is a remarkable facility of 12 private rooms, a communal kitchen and sitting area, all within a very peaceful and relaxing environment.
It was place where a little bit of “normal” was brought to our very abnormal situation. A place where we could: take a shower, get away, grab a coffee or a bite to eat, work remotely by laptop and do laundry. It was a home away from home that allowed us to be with our Adalyn during the most critical times of her courageous fight. It was also a place of understanding…meeting other parents or caregivers going through similar situations. Relationships and support networks quickly formed. RMHCAA is the common dominator, giving stability and providing an oasis in the midst of the chaos of lives turned upside down.
Adalyn fought harder than any little girl has ever fought. She was so strong through everything, always spreading her sparkle and light to others. A few days before she turned eight months old, she was diagnosed with a pulmonary disease that has no cure, no treatment. Adalyn gained her angel wings the very next day.
We would not have survived the experience without all of the support that we received from the different people, facets, and organizations that made up our Team Adalyn. The support from RMHCAA was no different, allowing us the time we were able to spend with our precious fighter through her journey.