15 Jun Atlanta RMHC Brings Walker Family Together
“Atlanta RMHC gave us the gift of bringing our family together,” says Alisha Walker, mom to Angelique.
Angelique, 12, from Jonesboro, Georgia, was born with Sickle Cell. Her diagnosis led to hospitalizations every 3 months for antibiotics and blood transfusions. Angelique had issues with her lungs, low oxygen levels, and Acute Chest Syndrome.
When she was 2, Angelique contracted a serious cold virus while traveling with her family in New York. What was supposed to be a weekend trip turned into a week-long trip with Angelique in the hospital for a major infection.
“It was the scariest time of her journey when she was put on oxygen and went into cardiac arrest,” Alisha says.
In December 2014, at the age of 4, Angelique was admitted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to have her bone marrow transplant. She went through 8 days of chemotherapy before receiving the transplant with her sister, Allana, being the donor.
Nearly 2 months later, Angelique was discharged and stayed at our House near Egleston for 5 weeks with her family.
The Walkers stayed in our Transplant Suite while Angelique’s immune system recovered. They had to be close to the hospital in case of an emergency and because Angelique had daily check-ups.
“Staying at the House was a blessing, and we could not have navigated the time after Angelique’s transplant without it,” Alisha says.
Alisha’s favorite part about staying at our House was being able to visit with her other 2 daughters. When Angelique was in the hospital, her sisters were not allowed to visit. Several weeks apart was painful for the Walker family.
“Once we were at the House, our daughters got a chance to visit. I cried like a baby the first time they visited. It was so good to hear their laughter. Seeing them was what we all needed,” Alisha says.
8 years have passed since Angelique received her transplant and was healed of Sickle Cell. She is now a happy and healthy middle schooler who loves to sew and crochet.
Her family was inspired to give back to Atlanta RMHC, so they organized a pantry drive at Angelique’s school, Ron Clark Academy.
“We were overwhelmed with the outpouring support from everyone bringing in donations,” Alisha says.