In 2009, Noel’s sister, Lindsey, needed medical care in Cincinnati. While Lindsey recovered, Noel and her family stayed just steps across the street from the hospital in a room in our House. Noel never forgot the feeling of “home” she felt by staying in our House. However, she had no idea that she would find herself in need of our House again over a decade later.

Noel and Brandon found out they would be welcoming a little girl into the world and they couldn’t wait to meet her. Their excitement was met with despair at a routine appointment at 19 weeks. Their daughter was experiencing a condition known as omphalocele, a birth defect of the abdominal wall where the intestines, liver, or other organs stick outside of the belly.

“The odds weren’t good. Doctors encouraged us to find a hospital that would be able to care for her. The closest option was UK Children’s. But, since we had heard and experienced such good things with Cincinnati Children’s with my sister, we wanted Vera to be in the best hands knowing she was so critical.

The House has been my ‘home away from home’ once again. It’s always nice to walk over and have a hot meal, hot shower, a place to nap and take a few hours to get away from the whole hospital feel. I think what has/is being donated is a blessing in itself.”

After six months, Vera is finally making progress. She was intubated for five months, so she wasn’t able to do much. Now, after getting trached, Vera will have more mobility and options to move around. Doctors also discovered that she has another rare complication that required more genetic testing to help her. While she is getting better, her family is still anticipating another six to eight months in the hospital, far from home in Cynthiana, KY.

“We’re just happy to know that one day she WILL eventually go home when, for a long time, that wasn’t a guarantee. And of course, I’m happy to have the House to rely on for these upcoming months.”