Week 5: June 11th - 18th, The Kehler Family
During our final week of 5 Weeks for Families, the Kehler family, from Winnipeg, expresses how the Ronald McDonald Family Room becomes their home within the hospital when their son, Karsen needs to be at HSC Children's Hospital in for tests and treatments.
In late February 2016, our son Karsen was born at Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg. Shortly after he was delivered, he had difficulty breathing and was immediately rushed to the NICU in the HSC Children's Hospital. What transpired next changed our lives forever.
After some tests and X-rays, it was discovered that Karsen was born with collapsed lungs. Subsequent testing revealed there was also something very abnormal with his kidneys and bladder. His bladder was re-fluxing causing damage to both kidneys, especially to the right side.
Karsen has had seven surgeries to date and is getting ready to start peritoneal dialysis. While on dialysis, Karsen will be awaiting a kidney transplant which will hopefully occur sometime between the age of 30 and 36 months. A little under one-third of Karsen's young life has been spent in HSC Children's Hospital and many other days spent going there for testing and treatments.
As a family, we are extremely grateful for the Ronald McDonald Family Room in the children's hospital. Many hours have been spent there discussing his progress and current issues. It has been a place where we can relax, grab a slice of toast, wash personal clothing and meet other families going through similar experiences, themselves.
In fact, the Family Room was the place Karsen's two older brothers and sister met him for the very first time. The smell of freshly brewed coffee greets us every time we enter and takes away some of the stress of the moment. As small as that seems, it's something to look forward to.
The Family Room is a tremendous resource for those who are dealing with the issues that comes with having a child is in the hospital and has helped bring us some normality into an otherwise chaotic situation. It is truly a "home-away-from-home"!
- Jeremy Kehler and Jinelle Kehler, Karsen's parents