Terence’s Story

A mom holds her infant son

In 2022, 14% of our guest families came to Birmingham because their child needed specialized cardiac care.

One of those families is still staying with us while their child, Terence, receives a series of heart surgeries to help give him the best life possible.

Terence was born in July 2022 and underwent two open-heart surgeries before he was 1-month-old! He wasn’t released from the hospital until December and because of your support, his mom and grandma were just a block away. That included Terence’s first Christmas!

Mom and baby open presents

Kayleigh, Terence’s mom, is so thankful for the many gifts Ronald’s Workshop provided. Community members donate toys and other gifts so guest families can “shop” free of charge!

“We got so many gifts and Terence loved ripping the paper,” she laughs. “We’re so thankful for all of the toys, diapers and wipes.”

Terence and his family have remained at the House because he needs one more surgery before officially heading home.

“Being here has helped a lot,” his grandmother, Patricia, says. “Especially when Terence was in the hospital. We could switch out between the hospital and the House so someone was always with him and the other person could get rest.”

When a family has to be in-hospital for so long, the constant worry and activity can wear down their spirit. That’s why the Ronald McDonald House is such an important part of a family’s care.

Kayleigh, Terence’s mom, and Patricia will take a break in the courtyard at the House, or walk two blocks to a nearby park if the weather is nice. Patricia says she enjoys cooking for them on the weekends in the Family Kitchen, but if they’ve had a long day they can always enjoy a volunteer-provided meal.

They’ve also found comfort in new friends.

“We didn’t know how many kids stay at the House,” Kayleigh says. “Sometimes we all play and it feels like home and a big family. We’ve also made friends with other new moms and we get together with them if they come back to Birmingham for appointments.”

Terence is doing well and his next surgery is February 14, Valentine’s Day.

His mom and grandma are grateful to have the Ronald McDonald House as a place of refuge and rest while he recovers from the latest procedure to repair his heart.

If you’d like to help Terence’s family and the 73+ families in our care right now, make a donation or volunteer! Tap or click the buttons at the top of this post.