Jen Swecker and her son were cast unexpectedly into months of surgeries and rehabilitation when 10 year old Adrian received severe 3rddegree burns over 40 percent of his body after a gas can exploded in his hands. He was initially treated in the pediatric ICU in Kalamazoo, receiving five grafting surgeries over a six week period.
After the surgeries, the family was transferred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids for eight weeks of rehabilitation. Jen’s initial plan was to sleep on the couch in Adrian’s room. Luckily, Jen was able to find a ‘home-away-from-home’ at the Ronald McDonald House of West Michigan after the first two weeks of rehab.
“It was nice to come ‘home’ from the hospital and rest before going back, as well as have home cooked meals. The house has a family atmosphere that is incredible. I was able to socialize with other parents and staff members. The friendships I made at the Ronald McDonald House are ones I will always have.”
After the first five weeks of rehabilitation, Adrian was able to join Jen at the House as he awaited his burn garments and continued outpatient therapy.
The welcoming experience that provided comfort during a difficult period is one Jen is thankful for. She plans to volunteer at the house with her kids as a way to pay it forward.