Father and son sitting in a hospital bed

“Ronald McDonald House is a place to heal and find serenity in the midst of a storm.” Joan, Garrett’s mom

The holidays may be a time of celebration for most families, but for Garrett and his family, they spent much of it filled with fear. After being in and out of hospitals for ten years due to a rare condition, Garrett was in need of a kidney transplant to save his life. Finally, Garrett got the best Christmas gift of all from his father: a new kidney. We got to know Garrett and his family as they spent the holidays recovering in a room at our House.

Garrett’s mother Joan shared how our House helped make the holiday season one to remember. She explained:

“Garrett spent the first six months of his life on a ventilator in a NICU. He has an extremely rare condition called Moebius Syndrome with associated congenital anomalies of his airway, palate, heart, hearing, vision and nerves. He has also battled kidney disease. We spent almost an entire year working with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Kidney Transplant Team coordinating a father-to-son direct kidney transplant. Garrett had to go on dialysis at the beginning of 2018. On December 4, Justin’s kidney was finally transplanted into Garrett.”

As Garrett and his dad recovered from the surgeries, they needed to be careful about germs, so they spent most of their days in their room at our House. We didn’t want him to miss the fun of the holidays, so we made special arrangements with Santa to visit Garrett in his room. “A private Santa visit was just perfect for Garrett to stay healthy and enjoy being a 10-year-old only two weeks post-transplant,” said his mom.

Joan told us how much having Ronald McDonald House has meant during their decade-long journey of getting Garrett the care he needs. “We have had the pleasure of visiting and staying in multiple RMH facilities in multiple states (FL, KY, OH). RMH has allowed us as a family to be able to be together through most of this journey. We are very grateful for everything RMH does for families like ours.”

Garrett is a very active fifth grader at Kentucky School for the Deaf, which he looks forward to going back to soon. He also can’t wait to get back to his farm in Richmond, KY, his three younger brothers, and his chocolate lab.

Because of your generous support, Garrett and his father could recover together in our House, surrounded by the rest of their family and the critical care they needed. Thank you for making moments like these possible for thousands of families!

Mom, dad and three sons sit on a couch with Santa