As if having premature twins wasn’t stressful enough, three weeks later, Ky’Briegh developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis, a severe and life-threatening intestinal disease, and Kai’Liegh needed heart surgery, requiring both to go to Dallas for hospitalization. Crystal was scared and alone in an unfamiliar city far away from her hometown in Louisiana.
 
Crystal’s saving grace was the Ronald McDonald House – a place of respite and refuge; hope and support when the doctors told her that her twins only had 24 hours to live. The twins and Crystal survived, in part, because of the staff, volunteers and other families at the Dallas Ronald McDonald House who opened their doors and offered Crystal a place to rest, a compassionate hug when she returned from the hospital, an ear to listen to her worries, and comforting words to help guide her through the darkest days.

Crystal stayed at the House for a total of nine months. She met families from all walks of life, all gathering under the same roof so they could be close by their children who were facing a variety of medical crises. Knowing that others were going through similar trials made Crystal’s situation less scary, helping her give her twins the support they needed to recover.
 
At the top of the Dallas Ronald McDonald House is a beacon of light which can be seen from the hospital. For children it's an easy way to identify exactly where their parents are staying. For Crystal though, the beacon wasn't just an identifier, it was a light of hope. "The House helped my twins’ recovery because I was able to be there with them to give them strength when they were fighting for their lives," said Crystal. "The House was a complete blessing.”
 
In 2010 Kai’Liegh, Ky’Briegh and Crystal reunited at the Ronald McDonald House and celebrated their second birthday with some of the other families and friends they met during their stay. Their testament of survival became a beacon of hope for others families that day as they celebrated the health and happiness of two special sisters.