Parker is a pretty unique kid. He is an awesome four-year-old with some special DNA. Shortly after he was born, we found out that he had some extra genetic material on one of his chromosomes.
After four years, he still does not have a diagnosis. We take medical issues as they come. We have no name, no plan, and no reason Parker is the way his is. Along with this comes countless doctor appointments, numerous tests and procedures, and a variety of surgeries.
The first time we stayed at the Idaho Ronald McDonald House [RMH], Parker spent almost nine weeks in the St. Luke’s NICU. It was nine very long weeks. Parker was able to leave after an abdominal surgery, a feed port placement, and a list of doctor’s to follow up with. Since then, it has been a few days here and a few days there. While Parker will probably have a lifetime of issues with his body and be a frequent guest at the House, there is no denying that his life would be a whole lot harder without it.
The dining room has become a place for us to meet people who understand our journey. The playroom, a place for Parker to interact with kids just like him, who spend more time visiting doctors than on play dates. The RMH has become a safe haven amid a world of medical chaos.
No matter what he endures, there is a familiar, comforting place to regroup and heal. After a day of being poked and prodded, he has a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in. After a scary procedure, there is a playroom for him that he knows and loves. After a long day at the hospital, there is a warm dinner waiting. And there is always hot coffee before heading to the hospital in the morning.
The RMH has been more than just a place to stay while Parker is undergoing some medical procedures. The staff has become a second family. They have celebrated with us when Parker was finally able to get his leg cast removed from his clubfoot and transitioned from a wheelchair to a leg brace. They cared for us after a difficult surgery when Parker couldn’t get out of the bed due to the pain. They rejoice with us every time a procedure goes better than expected or a test comes back with good news. They have understood the tears after a day that produced less than stellar results.
Parker has such a positive attitude and lights up any room he enters. Maybe someday we will have answers to why he is the way he is but until then, we have the RMH to see us through.
With much love and appreciation,
The Netherton Family
Families like the Nethertons have experienced similar feelings towards the Idaho Ronald McDonald House. Guests at the House are surrounded by staff and other families that understand and provide support through their time of need. This compassionate environment is what makes the Ronald McDonald House a comfortable, caring place to stay for families when they travel far from home for their child’s medical treatment.
When families stay at the House, they are asked for a $10 donation per night although no family is turned down due to a financial hardship. Through your donations to the Share a Night campaign, you are providing families with that comfort and ease of mind of not having to worry about where they will stay or where they can get a meal. The Ronald McDonald House of Idaho has a policy of never turning a family down due financial causes. By donating, you are able to upkeep that policy held by the house.