The Journey - The Fortin Family

Five-year old Quinton Fortin from Albion, MI woke up one morning with unusual complaints—a debilitating headache and severe neck pain. Doctors couldn’t initially determine the cause for Quinton’s symptoms. Flu and strep test results were all negative. It was determined that he had a bad cold, and that rest would help him recover.


Approximately 24 hours after returning home, Quinton’s symptoms got much worse. He started having trouble moving his limbs. He was rushed to the hospital, where he slipped into a coma and was put on life support. His diagnosis was a rare form of meningitis. Unlike many highly contagious forms, this strain of meningitis could not be passed from person-to-person through direct contact. The disease began as a sinus infection, which progressed into the virus and resulted in severe symptoms.


The illness required 14 days of treatment. While still on a feeding tube, Quinton was transferred to the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids to recover from the paralyzing disease. While at Mary Free Bed, the Fortin Family was referred to the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan for a place to stay so they could be near their son throughout his recovery.


Quinton’s parents were able to accompany their son as he began relearning how to talk, as well as other activities of daily living.


“Our family wants to thank the Ronald McDonald House for all the support and encouragement,” said Quinton’s mom, Sierra. “And most of all, for allowing us to keep our family close.”