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Family Stories
Who stays at the Ronald McDonald House? Real people whose lives are forever changed by their child's illness.

Sophia...A Miracle From the Start

"You will never have children," the doctors said. Words a young couple starting their life together can't imagine hearing. Because she was born without a thyroid, Misti knew that she might face challenges, but she never expected to hear that her dream of having children was simply not an option. As she and husband Nick leaned on each other for support, made their peace with the situation and started to re-imagine their future, everything changed again. "You're pregnant," the doctors said, "it's a miracle that we can't explain." The couple was thrilled, but their journey was far from over.

At 29 weeks, Misti got a sharp pain in her abdomen that nearly immobilized her. She knew something was wrong and went to the hospital at Eglin Air Force Base. Unable to stop her pre-term labor, Misti's doctors transferred her by ambulance to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where she stayed on bed rest for two weeks. Allowed to leave the hospital, but having to remain close by, Misti found a perfect "home-away-from-home" at the Ronald McDonald House. The family stayed with us for nearly four weeks, through Christmas and New Year's, until Sophia finally made her debut in mid-January, six weeks early. "It was comforting to know that if something went wrong I was close to a really good hospital and would have support no matter what," said Misti.

At over six pounds, Sophia was bigger than the average preemie baby, but had some medical issues that kept her in the hospital. She was born with a serious condition that can lead to respiratory distress or even collapsed lungs. Fortunately for this family, 10 days on oxygen allowed Sohpia's lungs to mature and they were finally able to take their precious baby home to Navarre. On a recent visit, nine-month old Sophia captivated all of us with her sparkling blue eyes and happy smile. Because of Sophia, and the many other children who are part of the Ronald McDonald House family, we have no problem believing in miracles!

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Ronald McDonald House Charities
of Northwest Florida

5200 Bayou Boulevard
Pensacola, Florida 32503

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