Summer at Ryan House means a full house with lots of activity! Your gift will help to give an unforgettable summer to our children and families like 12-year-old Jenelle (pictured above).
We recently had the chance to talk with Jenelle’s mom, Savannah to learn more about her family’s story and we’d like to share it with you. Savannah shared that seven years ago, she was at the park with her family, enjoying an early evening of laughter and playing.
Her husband, Rigo, had driven separately. She was really tired, so she headed home alone while he stayed with their three kids Rigo, Zaydan, and Jenelle. Shortly after she left, she received a horrific phone call, one that every mother dreads.
Her husband and three kids were in an automobile accident. She raced to the scene, and then the hospital. Miraculously, her husband and two sons suffered minor, non-life-threatening injuries. However, Jenelle, only four years old at the time, was an entirely different story.
It was nearly 10 hours before they let her into her hospital room to see her. When she walked in, her entire body was so swollen, she hardly recognized her.
Doctors later sat down with her and explained Jenelle’s injuries: among many issues, she was now quadriplegic and her life would be spent in a wheelchair. Her life and her family’s life would never be the same.
Savannah said that despite her life-limiting injuries, Jenelle is the happiest, kindest girl you’ll ever meet. When Jenelle sees other kids running around playing, and she worries that she’s feeling left out, she assures her she feels like she’s playing alongside them.
However, as happy as Jenelle is, she does not enjoy going on vacation with her family. Jenelle cannot be in the sun too long because her body has trouble regulating itself. Savannah’s other children want to go to amusement parks and spend time outdoors among many other things that Jenelle is unable to do.
Then they found Ryan House, and it made such an impression on Jenelle. Savannah explained that she loves her respite visits, spending time painting, making crafts for her younger sister, Zaniyah, baking cupcakes and racing her wheelchair onto the accessible playground. She recently even learned how to play Xbox at Ryan House with an adaptive controller that makes it possible for her to play!
Savannah told us that the thing that is most special about Ryan House to her is how everyone treats Jenelle like a celebrity. She said that they remember her stories from the last visit. They remember what her favorite activities are. They make her feel valued, special and celebrated. For her little girl, this means the world to her.
Before Jenelle’s accident, she said that she would have never dreamed of this being her family’s reality.
She never thought she would need to utilize the resources of a place like Ryan House; however, when they really needed Ryan House, the care team was there and welcomed them like family with open arms.
We hope you’ll consider supporting Ryan House on a regular basis so that children like Savannah’s beautiful daughter, Jenelle, can continue to have these life enhancing experiences. Even as little as $10 a month covers the cost of bubbles that provide endless fun or the acrylic paints that Jenelle and other children very much love.
Please consider joining a special group of donors that give a sustainable monthly gift.
Ten hours per week of creative arts therapies
Life enhancing therapeutic activities for four children
An hour of healing hydrotherapy in our warm water pool
Two hours of relaxation in our calming sensory room
Baking supplies, acrylic paints and other materials for fun activities