A Haven Among Havoc

As Hurricane Irma was quickly approaching, the Costa Family was hit with more problems than one. Mom, Sara, was 36 weeks pregnant when the storm hit the Florida Keys. Her husband, Nate, had a job that forced him to bunker down in their hometown of Fort Lauderdale. Sara and her two daughters had to evacuate to Georgia without Nate.

“The stress of not knowing if we were leaving our house and coming back to rubble was completely overwhelming, but the bigger stress was not leaving as a complete family.”

While on their journey to safety, Sara went into early labor. She was admitted to the hospital with no space for her two daughters in the hospital room. It was a very emotional labor without her family by her side. After giving birth, everything seemed fine with newborn Luke, until his breathing was interrupted. After some time in the NICU, Luke was then admitted for premature lungs, premature digestive system, and jaundice.

“My heart was broken on a day it should be the most happy.”

Being miles away from home, Sara and their daughters, Leah and Liliana, needed a place to stay. They found a haven in a time of trouble at the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House. They had a roof over their head, warm food on the table, and were able to stay close to Luke while he was being treated at a nearby hospital. The Costas could also be around families who were experiencing similar situations, giving love and support to each other during a time of need.

A week later, Luke was discharged from the hospital, allowing the Costa Family to return home. Their house in Fort Lauderdale received some damage, but it was minor compared to what they had just experienced as a family. Sara said they would not have made it through such a tragic time without ARMHC.

“Our hearts are forever indebted and grateful to Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities.”

We are so happy we were able to keep the Costas close together during a chaotic time. We send our thoughts to those who are still being affected by the tragedy of Hurricane Irma.