GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Premature twins fighting for their lives are now living testaments to the work the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan is doing in the community: 10,000 families served and counting.
The organization celebrated this milestone with the Goosby family Tuesday at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.
Born nearly 10 weeks early, baby Christopher and his brother Charles were both born under two pounds with Chronic Lung Disease. Christopher has also had three surgeries to drain excessive bleeding in his brain. The twins were born at 29 weeks, and doctors say it's been a difficult road for them.
"They’ve definitely come a long way and we wish that all of our premature babies get to leave the NICU with the lowest amount of morbidity as possible, but that’s not 100 percent preventable either," said Dr. Nga Dinh, Pediatric Neonatology at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.
The hospital was a 45-minute drive from Jerry Goosby's home, and that's where the Ronald McDonald House comes in. 10,000 families have found comfort in the Western Michigan home off Leonard and Fueller. It's a 19,000 sq. ft. house on five acres on a park-like setting in the middle of Grand Rapids.
Marcie Lewis, Executive Director for the house of Western Michigan says anyone with a child under 21 that lives 35 miles away is eligible.
"The families come for the treatment they can get in GR and then they need a place to stay," Lewis said. "Everything you and I need in our own homes, we take care of those needs because they’re already stressed with having to take care of their sick children."
It's a home away from home giving families a place to rest with free meals, transportation and amenities all free of charge, for as long as they need.
"Seeing the miracles that happen everyday in the lives of these families are just so powerful,” Lewis said.
As for the twins, there's no official release date. Goosby said she's hopeful it comes in the next few weeks.