“On April 16, 2016 our son was diagnosed with PANDAS-Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections. We had never heard of this condition before, but basically our son developed severe anxiety, OCD, and school aversion behaviors. He was 7 years old at the time and it was very unusual for him to have such a dramatic personality change. We started him on antibiotics to address the immunological component of his condition, but his anxiety was still a big issue. In December of 2016, his condition got a lot worse and he was no longer able to attend school. His OCD and anxiety were debilitating. We heard about an intensive OCD treatment program for children at Bradley Hospital in East Providence and decided to admit him into their 6-week, day program. We live about an hour away so it would be difficult to get to Bradley by 8:30am everyday if we had to drive the distance. We knew we would need to find a place to stay close to the hospital while our son was in therapy. As we prepared to start the OCD treatment program at Bradley, my mother suggested we find out if there was a Ronald McDonald House affiliated with Bradley Hospital. Thankfully we found out about the Providence Ronald McDonald House and what a blessing it was for our family!
For about seven weeks, the Ronald McDonald House became our home away from home. Reflecting on our time there fills me with feelings of gratitude. Our lives had been turned upside down by my son’s illness and going through the six week treatment program restored our lives to normalcy. Our time at the Ronald McDonald House was an integral part of our family’s healing. Knowing that we had a beautiful room to call our own was such comfort! We enjoyed having a safe, peaceful retreat that allowed us to focus on our son’s healing. It gave me peace of mind to know that we were with other families who were also dealing with challenging medical conditions. It was also a wonderful blessing to have dinner provided every night and it was touching to see the volunteers who dedicated their time to help families staying at the House. The atmosphere was so nice that my son was happy to return every day and play at his home away from home. Additionally, when my son was at Bradley during the day between 8:30am and 2:30pm, I was thankful to have a private space for myself to go for rest, quiet reading, a meal, or just some down time. When it was time to go back to our home in Massachusetts, we were happy of course, but also sad to leave the familiar comfort and kind faces we had come to know at the Ronald McDonald House. I cannot emphasize enough how appreciative our family is to have been able to benefit from the resources at the House and the generosity of its volunteers and donors! We are happy to report that our son continues to do well and our lives feel normal again! Thank you so much!”
Kelly, James & Family