The Carlsons

Mother-Daughter Bond Deepens for Carlsons at the Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House holds a special place in the hearts of Mckenzie Carlson and her mother, Michele. Despite their already close relationship, spending time at our House near Scottish Rite allowed them to get to know more about each other.

“The lack of daily distractions provided for uninterrupted time to talk and share our feelings. Ash Wednesday happened to fall during our stay, so Mckenzie and I decided to attend service at a church near the House,” Michelle says. “We found a beautiful little church and it had one of the most amazing singers we have ever heard.  It was Mckenzie’s first time receiving ashes and it was just really special for us.”

Mckenzie and her mom stayed with us after her hemispherectomy in January. Mckenzie, a surviving twin, was diagnosed with Tricuspid Atresia, Hypoplastic Right Heart, and Cerebral Palsy at birth. She had her first heart surgery at just 5 days old, and her third heart surgery at 5 years old. That was when Mckenzie’s grandparents from North Dakota stayed at the original Ronald McDonald House on Houston Mill in 2006.

“The Ronald McDonald House relieved the financial strain of staying close to the medical treatment she needed,” Michele said. “If not for the House, her rehabilitation would have looked much different because we could never have afforded the cost of a hotel at a time when we are already less one income.”

Mackenzie and Michele went home on March 23. “As with most families, it was a countdown to discharge day,” Michele says. “As that date got closer, Mackenzie got more and more excited and talkative. She was spending more time with other kids at the House and I was talking to other families. We were sad that it was coming to an end but also elated that we would be home, with our dog and in our beds.”