The Reynolds Family

from Stanfield, Oregon: Six Visits, 35 Nights

In October 2014, Jacob Reynolds was at football practice when his foot slipped in a hole as he was being tackled. The fall created major damage to his leg, including a dislocated knee cap and torn ligaments. The damage was so severe, it led to Compartment Syndrome, which created excessive pressure and fluid buildup inside his body causing Jacob to go into congestive heart failure. What started off as a bad leg injury suddenly became more serious, and Jacob was facing a life or death situation.

His local doctors made an emergency call to two different vascular surgeons — one in Portland and the other in Seattle. The Portland doctor called back first, and Jacob took a four-hour ambulance ride to OHSU. After arriving, he underwent several life-saving surgeries.

“I didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing,” Jacob’s mom Denise said. “I just packed my bag.”

For the first night, Denise didn’t leave her son’s side. The social worker made the call, and found the family a room at the Ronald McDonald House. “It became our home,” Denise said. “It gave me a place to rest and recuperate while Jacob was being treated at the hospital.”

Since their first visit to the Ronald McDonald House in 2014, the family has stayed at Portland’s two Ronald McDonald Houses several more times for Jacob’s follow-up appointments and additional surgeries. For almost two years, they’ve been going back and forth to what they refer to as their “second home.”

“When I came to this house, I started feeling better,” Denise said. “They have family dinners, and other parents ask you how you are doing. You feel the love. They go above and beyond. It’s nice knowing you have a place that loves and cares about you.”