Anyone that gets the pleasure to meet little Miss Braylynn, instantly understands what it is that makes her such a special girl. It isn't the fact that she has battled Short Gut Syndrome (SBS) her whole life, it is that despite this fact, she is a magnetic, bright, little girl with just the right amount of attitude that makes her absolutely adorable. Braylynn came to the Ronald McDonald House in Omaha about two years ago. Prior to her treatment here in Omaha, Braylynn's chances were slim. Something her mother, Maleah is very open to discussing. When Braylynn was born in New Orleans, her family was given the news that she had SBS, and that there was nothing that could be done for her. Thankfully, a second opinion informed the family of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at UNMC in Omaha and their work with SBS patients. Braylynn's mother had nothing but wonderful things to say about Dr. Mercer and his team stating, "They are just wonderful; not only when it comes to knowing what they are doing, but they have great manners. They are so understanding and have the greatest patience when it comes to the children and their families."
As anyone can imagine though, the experience has been tough at times for Braylynn and her family, who often travel back and forth between Omaha and their home in Arkansas. "Having a sick child is a 24/7 job, it can be very stressful," says Maleah, "The staff at RMHC Omaha are wonderful; It's nice to know the staff is here to help any way that they can, and they are just so great with the kids." Of course being away from home isn't always easy explains Maleah, "It can be difficult at times with the other families, everyone is going through so much. The families here come from all over the place, with many different cultures and backgrounds, but being here forms such a close bond with each other."
Maleah says that Braylynn is at the age now where she understands what coming to Omaha means, that it means more treatments and having to leave home and her family there, but she does enjoy being at the Ronald McDonald house and it has helped her social skills tremendously. "She's turned into such a social bug" states Maleah. "Braylynn has progressed 100% since being here, but she still has a ways to go." She continues to say, "We are very thankful for the Ronald McDonald House and Dr. Mercer and his team."
In 2012, 27% of the families who called Ronald McDonald House home were here primarily for the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at UNMC, just like Braylynn. It's stories like these, and children like Braylynn that make us here at RMHC Omaha so proud of what we do and so very thankful for all of our volunteers and donors. We couldn't do it without the support of our community.