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125 Steps from His Son
What goes through your head when you receive a phone call saying that your son was in a severe car accident – That he was in critical condition at a hospital – That he might not make it?
First, you might think, “Will he live?” Or “Will I ever see him again?”
These were just some of the thoughts that circled around Denny Jones’ mind when he heard that his son Jacob was fighting for his life at South Bend Memorial Hospital after a traumatic accident.
When Denny’s focus needed to be on his son and making sure that he got the best treatment possible, he didn’t want the stress that went along with thinking about where to stay, what to eat, and how to afford to be by Jacob’s bedside. When Denny entered the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Memorial Hospital, his focus continued to be right where it should, on Jacob.
“The social worker at the hospital told us about the Ronald McDonald Family Room, and they said they’d take care of us as long as we needed, ‘at no charge!’ said Denny Jones. “I explained to them that the Doctor had told us that if he lives he could be in the hospital for months. They told me only to concentrate on my son and that they would take care of the rest. And they did.”
The Jones family stayed at the Ronald McDonald Family Room – a place of respite and refuge 125 steps from Jacob’s bedside – for nearly 8 weeks. And each day they were greeted by volunteers who treated them like family. They helped the Jones family through a confusing and scary time by offering selfless compassion, providing warm meals, having fresh cups of coffee ready, and alleviating what could have been a tremendous financial burden. In all, the program, its staff and volunteers gave the Jones family strength that they in turn could pass along to Jacob.
It’s been nearly a year since Jacob’s accident and currently he is in a healthcare facility for children. He is doing well – recovering in a wheelchair and making improvements every day. Jacob is a living testament to the power of having family close-by, 125 steps away, when you are fighting for your life.
Today, there are 161 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in 19 countries keeping families, like the Joneses, steps away from their loved ones in the hospital.