Finding Hope: Atticus’ Story

“It was devastating.”

That was the emotion that overwhelmed mom Elaine when doctors told her that her newborn son Atticus would not be able to make the journey home to Mayer, Arizona. Atticus was born with three holes in his heart. But the lifesaving surgery he needed couldn’t be done until he was four months old and the elevation in their hometown would be too much for Atticus to handle.

Elaine, her husband Isaac, and Atticus’ big brother Gerry found themselves questioning what to do next. “That’s when Ronald McDonald House came in to let us know they were able to house us as long as it takes for my son to have some healing progress,” Elaine shared.

Ronald McDonald House gave each member of the family just what they needed to face their challenging circumstances. Gerry thrived at the House, meeting new friends, and helping staff members with baking and cooking projects.

Isaac found the strength he needed to support his family at the House. “If Ronald McDonald House didn’t exist, I’m not sure I would be mentally 100% strong enough to lead this family,” he said.

For Elaine, the closeness she shared with Atticus carried her through her toughest moments. “I’m able to bond with him and get to know him as my little boy. I was missing that when he was in the NICU,” she said. “Even though we’re hopeful and we pray a lot, we don’t know the future.”

After 70 days at our Dobson House, Atticus’ family received good news. His heart was strong enough to withstand the elevation in Mayer, Arizona and they could finally go home until it was time for surgery. They were elated to return home and get back to a little bit of normalcy, but the gratitude for their “home-away-from-home” and the donors that made it possible has not waned.

“This place is a safe haven and has kept my family together in a difficult time,” Isaac shared. “The House kept us together in ways that no amount of money could have provided us. Thank you.”