Jonathan and Gisela Micksch were on a trip to Disney World with their family when their 5 year-old son, Felipe, needed immediate surgery.

Felipe was diagnosed with a Sigmoid Volvulus, which causes acute colonic obstruction.

“Our son has had two surgeries already with another one scheduled later this year. The mental and physical toll of the initial trauma was very difficult, but it brought us all together to help get through it,” said Jonathan.

A Long Way From Home

The Micksch Family was about 1,550 miles away from home when they checked into the Ronald McDonald House on the campus of Nemours Children's Hospital. It meant so much to the Colorado family that they were able to be close to both of their children during an incredibly difficult and stressful time.

“It was the most important thing in the world to be nearby our son while he was being treated. We would wake up, eat, spend all day with our son, come home and then do it all over again. It was nice to be a short walk away, especially because we were able to care for our 2 year-old son too,” Jonathan said. 

They did not plan on staying in Orlando for very long but ended up having to stay for 30 days. Without the RMH located next to Nemours Children's Hospital, they would probably have stayed at a hotel nearby at a very significant cost.

“Every minute away from our son was very difficult, being so close to him and not having to worry about where to stay or what to eat was a lifesaver,” Jonathan said.

Help in the House

The family gained a lot of strength from staff and volunteers. They helped the Micksch family with all of the logistics of staying in a remote location and served as a helping hand for the family when they needed it most.

“It was incredible. Staying at Ronald McDonald House took so much stress away from an incredibly difficult situation by being able to stay right onsite at our son’s hospital and not have to worry about many of the day-to-day issues. The staff and volunteers were very thoughtful and nice at the house,” said Jonathan.

The family plans on volunteering at their local RMH once their son has healed and their life returns to normal. They find that during such a difficult time, every family should have the opportunity to be close to their family.

“Now that we’ve stayed there, I don’t know how we would have dealt with our situation without RMH – it just would have been so much more difficult,” Jonathan said.