23 Jul Meet the Ángel Family
Two-month-old Aiden Ángel has a contagious smile that can light up any room. Even with health complications that have kept him in the hospital, Aiden is known as the happy baby. His parents, Jackie and Andrez Ángel , were told when Jackie was 5-months pregnant that Aiden had a separation in his intestine, known as deudonal atrisia, causing him to have two stomachs. He was also diagnosed with heart and kidney conditions. Aiden had his first surgery when he was only 3 days old to attach his separated intestine. Aiden has had two surgeries since, one a week later due to a leaking and the third to untwist his intestine.
The Ángel family has called the Gatewood Atlanta Ronald McDonald House home since Aiden’s first surgery. The House has provided a comforting “home-away-from-home” for Jackie and Andrez, allowing them to be close to Aiden without worrying about expensive hotel fees. Jackie describes the House community as a big family, where everyone is able to support each other during difficult times and celebrate during good times.
“Maybe no one understands exactly what we’re going through, but everyone here has their own stories. We are all in similar situations,” describes Jackie. “It’s so nice to have friends here to lean on, that I know I can talk to, and I love listening to other families and comforting them as well. It feels so good to be here.”
Staying at the House has allowed Jackie and Andrez to see Aiden in the hospital every day. When Aiden’s family is with him, the doctors notice that his health improves – as if the love in the room is healing him.
“It really helps him for us to be here,” Jackie says. Although Jackie describes Aiden’s journey as a roller coaster, she is excited that he is getting better. Judging by the smile on his face when his parents walk into the room, Aiden seems to know that.