20 Apr Adeline’s Second Chance at Life
When our daughter Adeline was born in December 2016, we never imagined raising a child with a chronic illness. We also never imagined the role the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House would play in our recovery.
Adeline was born a “healthy” child, but at just 6 days old I knew something was seriously wrong. Weeks later she was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia — a rare, lifelong liver disease. We were told 75 percent of babies born with Biliary Atresia need a liver transplant by 2 years old, and the odds were not in our favor.
When Adeline was 10 months old it was clear she needed a liver transplant to live. We traveled to Atlanta to begin the transplant process and found love, support, and familiarity at the Ronald McDonald House. Having a chronically ill child is so very hard but the House helped make the entire trial a little bit easier.
At 14 months old, Adeline received her second chance at life through a liver transplant. And I was the donor.
At just 11 days post transplant, Adeline was discharged to start her new life. Recovering together, we spent the next month living at the Ronald McDonald House. The kindness and support of the staff still brings me to tears. Both Adeline and I were learning how to navigate this new post-transplant life and the staff was there to cheer us on and support us when we were not sure we could continue.
Being five hours away from your home is so very difficult. Families who go through long hospital stays struggle to find a sense of normalcy for their family, children, and marriage. For us, that normalcy came in the form of a cozy room and warm meals provided at the House.
Two years post-transplant, Adeline is doing great. We still come to Atlanta every six months for clinics and are always welcomed at the House. Both of our children love coming to Atlanta to visit the “Old McDonald” House. They always leave with new friends and new memories.
The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House will always be part of our family’s life. We are forever grateful to the donors who help make this wonderful place a reality. I can assure you, when you donate to Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities you are making an impact on families like ours. Your support keeps families like mine together.
Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities cares for strong moms like Margaret each and every day. You can support moms like her when you donate today.