23 Aug Atlanta RMHC was life changing for the Smith Family
“Atlanta RMHC means so much more to us than just a place to stay,” says Emma Smith, mom to Penelope. “It changed our lives.”
Penelope, born on April 1, from Barnesville, Georgia, loves being outdoors and her elephant WubbaNub Paci. “She has a bright personality, always smiling, and loves to learn new things,” Emma says.
Penelope was born with multiple Meconium Ileus which caused a blockage in her small intestines. At 5 days old, she underwent intestinal surgery to remove the meconium plugs, leaving her with a colostomy bag. A few days later, she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.
She then had reversal surgery to put her intestines back together and went through several trials of Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy. The therapy caused Penelope to have rare allergic reactions.
102 days at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta passed before she was discharged with a combination of special formula and mct oil. Hopefully, this will help her gain weight and outgrow the allergic reactions to enzymes.
Emma and Penelope’s dad, Chad, stayed at our House near Scottish Rite while Penelope was in the NICU. They appreciated our warm and welcoming staff and volunteers.
“They knew us by name and knew our daughter’s story,” Emma says. “They would ask about her and show concern which made us feel so loved and supported by strangers.”
The Smiths also enjoyed our bingo nights and delicious Meals that Heal. Being provided with an affordable place to stay was a relief when they were “scared, tired, and confused.”
“Our experience during Penelope’s treatment would have been a nightmare without Atlanta RMHC,” Emma says.