07 Apr ‘Go home and enjoy your final days with him …’
At just 19 months old, Hunter’s doctor told his parents, Kevin and Mirabela, there was nothing more they could do for him and advised them to enjoy the time they had left. But the Krugers were unwilling to accept this. Mirabela drove Hunter to Atlanta to get a second opinion, while Kevin went to New York for a work training.
“The moment I was walking into the office for training, I got a call from Mirabela saying that Hunter had crashed before being seen by the doctor and he was coding. In that moment, my heart dropped to the floor because there I was, hundreds of miles away and there was nothing I could do but sit on the phone and hope the doctors could bring my son back.”
Luckily, Hunter recovered, and Kevin rushed down to Atlanta, while a social worker helped Mirabela get into the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House. “It was such a huge relief to get down here and have a place to go to take a shower, brush my teeth and be close to Hunter.”
“There are things at the Ronald McDonald House that allow you to just be human for a little bit and not worry about critical things,” Kevin says. “I’m only a minute away if Hunter needs me, but I can take these next few moments to do normal things like a load of laundry or cook dinner. To me and my wife, that’s a big part of being a family.”
“All the donations that come into the Ronald McDonald House, whether it be time, money, or gifts, make their way into the hearts of the little ones and the families that are standing behind them to keep them fighting.”
Kevin remembers being in the House one time and walking into the kitchen to find that a donation of flowers came in. “Sometimes I don’t get to be the good husband that I like to be, going out and getting my wife flowers or a box of chocolates. At the House, I was able to grab my wife a bouquet of flowers, and it’s those little things that really brighten a day when times are really tough.”
Hunter, now 6, has been in and out of the hospital several times in his life. During COVID alone, the Kruger family stayed with us for 99 nights. Despite multiple medical challenges associated with Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS), a rare neurological disorder, Hunter has been able to achieve milestones they were told would never be possible. The Krugers attribute these outcomes to their ability to stay at the Ronald McDonald House and remain close to Hunter and the life-saving care medical care he needs.
“The Ronald McDonald House is a home when being home is impossible.” Kevin explains. “It gives you warmth and comfort and allows you to focus on making sure your child is getting the best care possible. I don’t know what we would do if this resource did not exist.”
This Mother’s Day give the gift of “home” to families like the Krugers so they can focus on healing together.