another of the many things i might not have experienced had wyatt not been born with Down syndrome is the ronald mcdonald house. wow! what an amazing charity that is! when wyatt had his open heart surgery in atlanta, we were told that we might be able to stay in the ronald mcdonald house if there was availability. i did not realize what a blessing that "house" would be to us!
the first night we were in atlanta we stayed in a hotel near the hospital for the "bargain" rate of over $100. we knew that we would have at least 2-3 more nights there, if we were not able to get into the ronald mcdonald house. i must admit that i was a little scared about exactly what a ronald mcdonald house might look like....i envisioned an old house, to be honest with you! boy was i surprised!
we drove around looking the ronald mcdonald house and the hospital the first night we were there. WOW were we surprised when we drove up to a "posh" looking hotel that was the ronald mcdonald house! it was beautiful....and huge! its interior was beautifully decorated as well! atlanta's first ronald mcdonald house with 16 bedrooms, the 4th in the world, opened in 1979. since then ARMHC has expanded to two houses for a total of 61 bedrooms. ARMHC is proud to have served more than 35,000 families over its proud 30 year history!
we were so happy to be accepted into the ARMHC on the second night of our stay. we stayed there 4 nights, for the truly bargain rate of $20 per night (which i believe they waive if you are unable to pay). the rooms were pretty bare, but very comfortable! there are living areas throughout the downstairs and on each floor with comfortable couches and chairs, televisions and books available for use.
on the ground floor is also a HUGE kitchen with lockers for personal food storage, as well as shared food. every night different groups provide meals for the residents of the house. groups from churches, service clubs, offices and corporations graciously give of their time and resources to minister to families in their time of need. the 2 nights prior to wyatt's surgery we enjoyed delicious meals with our extended groups of family and friends as well....they insisted that we all eat! it was such a relief to not have to go out to eat at the end of a long day! it also gave us the opportunity to get to know other residents of the house!
i will never forget our experience at the atlanta ronald mcdonald house, and highly recommend it to families facing surgeries and other long term hospital stays....