Family Stories

Malachi

Every day we meet the most amazing parents. Even in our landscape of loving and dedicated mothers, Melissa Toledo stands out as a true Mama Bear, a warrior in high heels, an advocate and champion of the little guy, her little guy. Melissa is mom to 8 year old Malachi. Malachi has been in and out of the Johns Hopkins PICU since he was an infant. He has never stayed at the House because he is always inpatient but Melissa has been here so much that she is part of our family.
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Brooke

Brooke Shockley was a typical 8th grader at Wicomico Middle School: playing soccer, hanging with her girlfriends, being a great big sister to Logan and Jordan and playing in the Marching Band. There is no way we could possibly capture the details of Brooke and her Mom’s 10 month odyssey from middle school routine to an anything but ordinary life spent between Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore. Brooke’s Mom Tammy keeps friends and family as up to date as possible through a CaringBridge website dedicated to Brooke’s progress. We share with you just a few excerpts
that capture some pivotal moments in the roller coaster that occurred that year.
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Jade Hope, Erin Faith and Taylor Joy

Jade Hope and Erin Faith Buckles were born on Thursday, February 26, 2004. They are true miracles who have beaten the odds. Conjoined from mid-chest to naval, the girls shared a pericardium (sac around the heart), diaphragm and liver. Their hearts shared a small electrical connection and beat in synch. Erin’s heart was 60% in Jade’s chest. These beautiful babies were born to Marine Gunnery Sergeant (now Master Sergeant) Kevin Buckles and his wife Melissa.
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Raymundo

Raymundo

There is a visceral reaction when the phone rings from the University of Maryland, Shock Trauma.  We are familiar with the words, the tone, and the urgency.  Shock Trauma families are priority, for as we all know, their world has been irreversibly altered. This day, the story began with a young person who had been flown to Shock Trauma from Ocean City.
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elizabeth

Elizabeth Gardner: Age 4

Elizabeth arrived at the front door of our Ronald McDonald House and we instantly knew. Elizabeth would be the hope, the inspiration, the joy that would envelop us and heal us. Her short life has become an unparalleled story told here in her mother’s words. You too, will soon love her! On Friday August 13, 2004, we (Chris and Lisa Gardner) had a level 2 ultrasound at 20 weeks of Lisa’s pregnancy, to rule out a possible hereditary disease that Chris was diagnosed with as a child.
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michaela

Michaela

Michaela was born with a rare birth defect called Bladder Extrophy. She started her journey in Indiana and treated at home in Indiana for the first five years of her life. She started kindergarten at the age of six and in diapers because her bladder was not working as it should. It was then, that Michaela’s mom, Kelly, discovered Johns Hopkins Hospital and learned that this world-renowned institution specialized in the condition that had touched her child.
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Kathryn

Kathryn’s Gift

We received the devastating news on September 18, 2008 that Kathryn’s depleted blood counts were due to a potentially fatal auto immune disorder called Aplastic Anemia.  Like most parents, we spent countless nights scouring the internet looking for an authority who could tell us exactly what to do. After discovering the pioneering treatments offered at the Johns Hopkins Hospital under the direction of Drs. Robert Brodsky & Allen Chen, we became convinced this treatment was the best option.
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alex and mom

Alex

Alex is 16 years old and is a fighter. This determined, young man never once gave up hope as he worked hard to regain his ability to walk after being paralyzed from his waist down almost one year ago. While Alex was undergoing intensive therapy at Kennedy Krieger, he and his mom, Serena, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House. He also continued his school work with tutors here at the House. Alex is now walking and is set to return to school this month, where he will rejoin his classmates in 11th grade. The following story is written in the words of his mom.
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JJ

Our JJ

How does the horror of childhood limb amputation evolve into so many beautiful miracles? Devon Jermaine Adams (JJ) was born in Turks and Caicos on September 23, 2002. At birth, his left leg was contorted and affixed to his hip. Day one, the doctors told his parents they must amputate. Day one, JJ’s smile and engaging personality told them otherwise.
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David

David’s Story

On August 27, 2009, my nine year old son, David, was involved in a terrible and tragic accident. While riding his bike he was struck by a speeding car. David was airlifted to Children’s Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He suffered devastating injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, a stroke, fracture to the left side of his face, fractured jaw, fractured left arm, right leg open fracture, left femur, and a left leg open fracture resulting in a below the knee amputation.
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