24 May Gatewood House Family Pays it Forward
Meet the Rutkiewiczes, from Rockmart, Georgia, who have been staying with us at our Ronald McDonald House near Egleston, while their daughter 27-day-old Maris is being treated for several congenital defects, including a heart condition called Double Outlet Right Ventricle, and helping fill our weekly #WishList.
“She’s been receiving treatment at CHOA since the day she was born,” says mom Taylor. “The good news is that we originally thought her open-heart surgery would be within the first week of her life, but they now think she can wait 6 to 9 months.”
During their stay so far, Taylor and dad, Travis, have enjoyed meals at the House. “Our favorite thing is when there is dinner at the House, because being at the hospital all day is exhausting and that’s one less decision we have to make or place we have to go,” Taylor says, adding the patio is one of their favorite places to eat and enjoy some fresh air.
Taylor says the House has made a difference for her and Travis by allowing them to be with their baby girl as much as possible. “We can’t imagine being over an hour away from her. We have so much more peace knowing we can be with her in minutes.“
The family has embraced caring for other families during their stay. “My mom helps lead a ministry at her church of retired adults. They are always looking for new projects and decided to help the Ronald McDonald House because my husband and I are here,” Taylor says. “I was able to tell her some specific needs and people from the group donated items and money for her to shop.”
Taylor’s mom Stephanie was able to deliver the much-needed items off on May 12 and get a quick visit in with her daughter and granddaughter.