Family displaced by illness staying at Ronald McDonald House

- Christopher Calderhead and his wife Erin have their hands full. They have a one and a half year old son named Preston and an infant daughter, Delta.

At only 49 days old, Delta has already had some major challenges in her life.

"It was a rough start. She didn't breathe for the first three minutes after she was born", said Christopher.

Delta's problems didn't stop there.

"She was born with a hernia. Her liver and intestine were up in her chest. It caused the lungs not to grow", said Christopher.

The Calderheads found a specialist at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg who could help Delta. But the medical care would be extensive.

They had no other choice but to leave their jobs and home in Tennessee and temporarily stay in St. Petersburg while Delta went through treatment. That's when they found the Ronald McDonald House.

"We couldn't have done it without them. The fact that they only ask for a ten dollar donation, if you can afford it. The fact that they provide you with three square meals a day", said Christopher.

The Ronald McDonald House makes sure that the whole family is cared for, including the siblings of young patients.

"It's been pretty rough having to adapt to having not only a one and a half year old, but having to juggle her condition and keeping him occupied. So the Ronald McDonald House has been great about that", said Erin.

"We're here to take the stress off of families and in so many ways, wanting to do that by providing a home like environment, by providing meals. When you're stressed, you forget to eat, so we take that off by taking off the financial burden" said Lisa Suprenand of the
Ronald McDonald House.

The biggest stress of all has been lifted for the Calderheads. After months of treatment in St. Petersburg, Delta is getting better. The family was finally able to head back home.

"That was one of the reasons why we came so she would live a normal, healthy life and hopefully not have to be here other than check-ups", said Erin.

Ronald McDonald House also has a location in Tampa. For more information, visit http://www.rmhc.org/.

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