Meet the Rodriguez Family

The main focus of the Ronald McDonald House is to keep families close to their sick 2017-2-27-3.jpgchildren. We were able to keep Valerie and Alan Rodriguez close to their children not once, but twice.

The first case was in 2014 when their son, AJ, was born with gastroschisis, a condition where the baby’s intestines protrude outside of the baby’s body. It’s very rare, but even rarer for it to happen to another sibling. The second time happened most recently when their daughter, Brylee was born.

AJ and Brylee both had to have multiple surgeries. There was more hope with Brylee, because they had been through it before with AJ and could stay at the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House again.

“Both times we’ve stayed at the Ronald McDonald House we were scared and thankful. We were uncertain about what would happen to our children. We were able to be right across the street just two minutes away instead of being an hour away,” Valerie said.

“It’s so nice to have the ability to stay together as a family. Otherwise, we would have to choose between our kids.”

After both children had multiple surgeries, they were able to leave the hospital and Ronald McDonald House.  You would not even know either child had complications.

“We were able to stay together as a family and that’s all that matters.”

The Rodriguez family stayed at the House for 21 nights and is doing great as a happy family of four.

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Meet the Moran Family

When Kristina and Michael’s twin girls, Abigail and Faith, were born four weeks early with

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Michael and Kristina holding twins Abigail and Faith with sons Braden (l) and Karsen (r)

respiratory distress, they figured they lived close enough to the hospital to not have to stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

After a few days of driving back and forth, their energy was spent and realized how hard it was to be home and away from their girls. They checked in to the Ronald McDonald House and were able to spend more time with their newborns.

“When I checked in to the Ronald McDonald House, I was an emotional wreck. Not from being nervous, but for being incredibly grateful.” – Kristina, mom.

While the girls stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit, Kristina and Michael were able to find rest at the House and balance their time between their twins and two sons, Braden and Karsen.

“The girls were eating every three hours. I felt torn with having two kids at home. Trying to do both was just exhausting and emotionally tolling. It was hard to commute back and forth every day. That’s why the Ronald McDonald House was a huge help. It helped with the girls and also helped with the boys because they could see me every evening. We would eat dinner together.”

During the twins NICU stay, the original thought was that Faith would be discharged sooner, but Abigail and Faith decided they needed to stay together. They both kept having episodes of apnea, a temporary pause of breathing.

On the 13th day in the NICU and Kristina and Michael’s seventh night at the Ronald McDonald House, they were able to take the twins home on heart monitors.

“Truthfully, being close to the girls by being right across the street was the best part of my stay at the Ronald McDonald House; not having to worry about the little life details…”

Today, Abigail and Faith are still on monitors but doing better than ever at home with their proud big brothers and parents.

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Meet the Lawrence Family

Parents Heather and Shawn Lawrence checked in to the Ronald McDonald House as dsc_0212returning residents. They stayed here a few years prior when son, Bo, was born early. On Oct. 22, Heather delivered her daughter, Ava, five weeks early. Unfortunately, she had breathing problems and jaundice. They were glad to return to the House, but also worried while trying to stay hopeful their daughter would recover.

“We felt like we were at a second home,” said Shawn Lawrence.

“It was very comforting getting to check in for the second time. It was a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders.”

Big brother Bo was also just as grateful to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. “Bo loves staying here and calls it the ‘McDonald House!’”

Brothers and sisters are always welcome considering the House has a play room and teen lounge offering tons of toys and games like air hockey, basketball throw board games and various other stuffed animals and toys.

After Ava grew healthy enough to return home, they checked out on Halloween after staying at the House for five nights.

Meet the Murphy Family

A smooth pregnancy is what all new moms and dads hope will happen. What gets scary is20161017_114913 when the pregnancy goes just as it should and then one day, turmoil strikes. Terry and Brittany Murphy had an easy going pregnancy and then 25 weeks in, Brittany was in labor for 12 hours without knowing it. Their daughter, Bralynn, was born early weighing only 1 lb. 10 oz. They were scared, shocked and did not quite know where to turn for rest until they were introduced to the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House.

The next few months felt like a waiting game. Seven weeks in, Bralynn was breathing on her own. After checking in the House and Bralynn seemed to be improving, their outcome was finally looking hopeful.

“I don’t know what we would’ve done without the Ronald McDonald House,” Terry said.

“It’s so nice to have a community of people in the same situation at the House. We can talk amongst each other which helps emotionally.”

Now, Bralynn is breathing well, transitioning into bottle feeding and expected to keep progressing.

Give a little extra. Love a little extra.

 

View More: http://krystalwoodsphotography.pass.us/ronaldmcdonaldhouseAs you know, we have a leap year nearly every four years. We see this as an extra day to do good. Tell a family member you love them, call a friend who lives far away to catch up or help a stranger. Whatever you do be thankful for the extra day you have.

On this day, we’re giving you the opportunity to give a little extra to our Ronald McDonald House food pantry, called Mary’s Pantry. We strive to offer RMHC families a place to rest and eat hot meals and snacks. It’s our desire to provide them enough rest and the right nutrition so they can be strong for their child.

By the way, every dollar you donate doubles!
(Click this hyperlink above and click the “Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund” tab to learn more.)

A generous local partner wants to help the Ronald McDonald House raise $150,000 for Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund. They’ve committed to matching every dollar that you donate up to $75,000. When you give a dollar…it becomes two. Once the goal has been met, the income generated from the endowment fund will purchase the needed food for families all year long.

DONATE NOW

#Match4MarysPantry