An hour away from our home, in the unfamiliar hallways of Atlanta Children’s Hospital, we were told that our two-year old Tripp wouldn’t live.
 
Our little boy with the biggest smile and magnetic personality had been playing outside at day care when a gust of wind knocked an 100-pound branch off a tree and onto his little head crushing his skull. Hoping, praying, fearing the news that we knew we couldn’t bear, we watched over Tripp. Beep by beep, we held our breaths in anticipation of a miracle. We found solace and a group of people who I can safely say saved our lives at the Ronald McDonald House. Through Tripp’s surgeries, his pain and his cries, we were able to stay by his side more than six months.
 
The Ronald McDonald House gave us unconditional love. Everyone was going through something; I was never alone in my journey and I never felt ashamed of my red eyes, blank stares, and emotion that was just too raw to touch.
 
There were days when I was literally shaking with stress and worry after spending the day and night in the hospital. It was the House — the meal waiting for me in the kitchen, the other parent who just let me collapse in her arms when I couldn’t stop crying, the library and book after book I could escape into, a warm bath, and the most comfortable bed — all these parts of the House gave me the strength I needed to help Tripp get over another hurdle.
 Above all, the House and its staff and volunteers gave us light. Even if I was dragging myself ‘home’ from the hospital at two in the morning, the House was never dark. There was always a smiling face at the door and a place to call home. It was a beacon of hope.
 
Fueled by this hope, Tripp was able to go home this April. Step by baby step, and against all odds, he is getting better. And, thanks to the Ronald McDonald House, we were there every step of the way.
 
I pray you never have to endure the tragedy that our family has as only then can you truly understand all that Ronald McDonald House Charities is and does. But I ask you to learn more, get involved and donate, because there are thousands of families who, just like us, need the support, strength and light of a Ronald McDonald House tonight so they can help their child heal.