Hurting, Heartbroken, and Far From Home

Natalie would give anything to help her baby live. Even her own liver.

That’s just what she did.

When her daughter Natalyah got sick, Natalie donated part of her liver in hopes that a transplant surgery would save her little girl’s life.

It was painful and scary, but Natalie never looked back. That’s thanks in part to you. Your gifts gave her and Natalyah a loving place to stay at Ronald McDonald House® so they could recover from their surgeries together.

But that’s only the beginning of their story …

A Mother’s Brave, Broken Heart

It all started when Natalie noticed that Natalyah’s belly was swollen and her eyes looked yellow. She took her baby to a doctor, who performed a biopsy and discovered that Natalyah had a rare liver disease called biliary atresia. Natalyah needed a new liver right away.

Natalie didn’t hesitate to offer her own liver for transplant. But then she found out that the surgery wasn’t available near their home. The brave mom didn’t lose hope. She found a hospital that could help them. They made the trip and both mother and daughter underwent surgery.

Natalie was still recovering from her operation when she got news that broke her heart. “Natalyah’s body rejected my liver,” she says. “I just cried and cried. It was very hard. I was alone,
and I was in pain.”

But Natalie soon learned that she wasn’t alone. You were there for her. And because you give, she had everyone at Ronald McDonald House ready to root for her and give her all the support she and her daughter needed to keep fighting.

You Provided Love and Care

One year later, Natalie and Natalyah have smiles on their faces. They’ve stayed at the House for the past 12 months while Natalyah received an additional liver transplant and treatment.

It’s been difficult, but staying at the House has kept their spirits high. They’ve been able to celebrate holidays and special milestones. Natalie likes making meals that remind her of home in the House kitchen.

“If it wasn’t for Ronald McDonald House, I don’t know what I would do.”

Most of all, Natalie is grateful that she and her daughter can be together. “If it wasn’t for Ronald McDonald House, I don’t know what I would do,” she says. “It would be very hard for me. I’m not working right now. They help us with food. Everything!”

Thankfully, Natalie doesn’t have to wonder what she would do without you. Thank you for giving so families like hers can stay together and stay strong.