02 Jan Meet the West Family
First residents of the newly re-opened Atlanta Ronald McDonald House
On December 21, 2015, nine-year-old Ty and his adoptive parents, Ken and Ann West, were the first family to check into our newly rebuilt “home-away-from-home” near Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Ty and his family were welcomed into the new home with open arms!
Ty was born with severe scoliosis and had congestive heart failure at two weeks old. He was unable to maintain sufficient oxygen levels or swallow successfully. These symptoms caused him to be resuscitated at two weeks old, which led to brain damage and cerebral palsy. Ty underwent his first surgery of a tethered spinal cord release and to drain fluid filled tumors when he was only one year old. Since then, Ty has been hospitalized frequently for infections, pneumonia and other complications. Throughout this journey, Ty and his parents have turned to the Ronald McDonald House for support and comfort.
Since 2007, the West family has found security in many Ronald McDonald Houses. From Philadelphia to Macon and both Houses in Atlanta, the West family truly considers the Ronald McDonald House another home to them.“We are a family, but the Ronald McDonald House is our extended family,” Ann said.
Ann and Ken have many memories at the House that include Ty smiling and having the chance to just “be a kid” in the midst of his medical battles. Ty associates the Ronald McDonald House not only with having fun in the playrooms filled with books and toy trains, but also with comfort as he recovers.
“After each of his last two surgeries, the first thing Ty said when he opened his eyes was, ‘I need the Ronald McDonald House,’ and I know it’s because of the comfort he finds there,” Ann said.
Ty’s parents appreciate the sense of security, support and the peace they experience every time they walk into the Ronald McDonald House. From the staff to the other families, there is always someone in the House to lean on in times of need. Ann and Ken expressed that, “sometimes as parents you are just scared, but there is a sense of security at the Ronald McDonald House that brings peace of mind.”