What We Do

The Kapperman Family

Kapperman Family

Miracle one: Kaylie Kapperman was born on March 11, 2012.

Her mom, Ashley a young healthy woman was told at her five month check up that she would not carry to term; the baby had been diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, a disorder in which the kidneys are enlarged. In unborn Kaylie’s case, these enlarged kidneys posed a threat to her other major organs, due to the lack of space they had to develop and function.

Ashley continued to have a normal pregnancy and a smooth delivery. Kaylie arrived in this world on March 11th in Toledo, OH, where she was quickly whisked away by ambulance and brought to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Three days after arrival, she was taken in for surgery to remove both her kidneys and was placed on peritoneal dialysis twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. After about 3 ½ months, Kaylie was discharged to go home, having to continue dialysis around the clock. An order was placed to have a dialysis machine delivered to her home where she could continue her required treatment.

Miracle two: Kaylie survives another surgery, against all odds.

Kaylie spent a few weeks at home where family and friends got to enjoy her smiling face. Early one morning Ashley noticed that something did not seem right with Kaylie’s eyes. A home healthcare nurse came for her daily visit and immediately called EMS; Kaylie was having seizures. She was transported to Hicksville Hospital in Ohio where they air lifted her back to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. After an MRI was completed, the doctors told the family that Kaylie had been having seizures and had also suffered a stroke. She had limited movement and lost eyesight and hearing. They kept her for observation and 5 days after re-admittance to the hospital, Kaylie’s little intestines burst. They immediately took her into surgery, where they came out with devastating news; Kaylie’s intestines were completely dead and she would not make it through the next surgery. Ashley and her Mom gathered together, called a priest to baptize little Kaylie and said their prayers. Early the next morning, Kaylie was taken back into surgery, where the doctors planned on taking out the damaged organs and closing her up. To the medical team’s surprise, at the very end of what they thought was a completely dead intestine, they found five inches of living, viable organ; just enough to keep Kaylie alive.

Kaylie was then placed in a drug-induced coma to let her body rest from the seizures and also because they had to change they type of dialysis she would receive due to the intestinal surgery. Kaylie became the youngest to be placed on intermittent hemo dialysis.

Throughout Kaylie’s life, her mom Ashley and her grandmother Candy have spent a total of 16 months at the Ronald McDonald Houses of Ann Arbor and they will continue to stay until Kaylie receives her kidney transplant this fall. Words cannot describe the gratefulness they feel for how the House has supported them throughout their journey. The Ronald McDonald Houses offered them a home and a place to rest after stressful days at the hospital. “You become family with the other people staying at the House,” says Candy. “You know their stories; you share their joy and pain and support each other during these difficult times. Only at the Ronald McDonald Houses do you have the opportunity to meet people going through similar experiences and lean on them during your time of need.”

Miracle three: Kaylie will remain on dialysis until kidney transplant in fall 2013.

The Zarazua Family

Zarazua Family

Matt and Melisa Zaraua were blessed with two daughters and were ecstatic when they found out their third child would be a boy.

Liam was born at Covenant Medical Center in Saginaw, MI on October 24, 2012 by emergency c-section. He weighed 3lbs 15oz and was not breathing upon delivery. He was immediately placed on a ventilator.

The doctors at Covenant medical Center were concerned about Liam. Brain scans showed fluid, his heart appeared to have a ventricular septal defect, his lungs were premature and his limbs and reflexes were very weak, sometimes unresponsive. After a few days, doctors decided Liam needed to be transferred to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

On Wednesday morning, October 31, the Zarazua’s arrived at Mott Hospital and doctors began more testing. Later that afternoon, Dr. Leber, a neonatal neurologist came into the room. He immediately began asking Melisa questions and asked her to do a grip test. Dr. Leber asked her to grip his index and middle fingers as hard as she could until he told her to stop. She did as she was told and when the doctor told her stop, she couldn’t - her muscles froze.

Melisa and Matt were speechless.

Congenital Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy affects three major components: breathing, eating and mobility. Over the course of November, Liam suffered from his lungs collapsing eight times because his little lungs were not able to expel enough carbon dioxide. At the time, it was decided that Liam would be placed on a vent to breathe, as well as a feeding tube. During pre-op testing, doctors discovered that his little intestines were kinked and cutting off blood supply to main organs, which needed repair immediately.

December 20th, Liam had all procedures as well as an appendectomy because doctors found his appendix in the upper left abdomen, when it should be in the lower right. He was kept sedated for ten days and when they finally let him off sedation he sprang to life!

On February 5th, after 105 days in the hospital, 98 of those at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald Houses of Ann Arbor, the Zarazua’s took Liam and his sisters home.

They spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years at the “Ronnie Mac,” and met other families that they still keep in touch with today.

“Without the House, our journey would have been tough. It is a wonderful gift to have such an establishment available to depend on in such stressful times. We will be forever grateful.”-Matt Zarazua