20 Mar Ronald McDonald House Brings Gilley Twins Back Together
“It is hard to imagine where we would be or how we would have made it this far without the help of Atlanta RMHC,” says Sara, mom to Stone Gilley.
Stone, 10, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, suffered a spontaneous ruptured aneurysm on August 18. At 5 a.m., the family’s dog began barking, signaling something was wrong, waking Sara up and ultimately saving Stone’s life.
The aneurysm caused Stone to have three strokes and severe aspiration. He was put on a ventilator and admitted to the Pediatric ICU at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. After six weeks, Stone was transferred to Scottish Rite to begin his next phase of healing.
When the Gilley family arrived in Atlanta, Stone could not hold stand or speak. For 12 weeks, they stayed at our Ronald McDonald House near Scottish Rite while Stone worked to regain those abilities. “The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House became our home-away-from-home,” Sara says.
During the day, Stone took our shuttle to the hospital while his twin sister, Sadie, did virtual school in their room. In the evening, they ate family dinners, played in the game room, watched movies, and did arts and crafts.
Sara loved having her children together after months of being apart. “To have both of my children alive and under the same roof, in a home-like environment, is a feeling I could never describe,” Sara says. The Gilley family appreciated our staff and volunteers and enjoyed getting to know other families.
“The clean room, warm meals and hearts, generosity, accommodations and love we felt from Atlanta RMHC is immeasurable,” Sara says.
Stone was able to go home 10 days before Christmas. He is back in school with his friends, active in church, and walking on his own.