To the world, Emma Melvin looked perfect. A smart, social child, Emma is quick to join a conversation or tell a joke. And she loves creative projects.
Behind the scenes, the 5-year-old has been dealing with the effects of aplastic anemia most of her life. The disease causes the body to fail to produce enough red blood cells. Because of this, Emma lived with constant fatigue and the risks of infection or uncontrolled bleeding. The disease is serious and can be life-threatening if untreated.
After years of constant monitoring and maintenance infusions, doctors near her home in White Oak, NC, referred Emma to Duke Children’s Hospital for a transplant.
Like all families dealing with serious childhood illness, the Melvins’ lives are complicated. They have a young son. They each have jobs. In fact, Emma’s mother, Caitlin, is an emergency department nurse.
Ronald McDonald House allowed them to move the entire family here, including her grandmother, who often stayed at RMH with the baby while her parents were with her at the hospital. Emma’s father went back and forth as needed for work as their busy lives continued.
During their stay, Emma and her family became integral to the life of the House. When Emma was allowed to return to RMH to continue her recovery outside of the hospital, she became a leader among the kids at the House, sometimes pushing friends in their wheelchairs while they played games.
Emma’s transplant was a success. But more than the very real gift of being cured from a life-threatening disease is the rebirth of the spirit of a little girl and her family who now celebrate a new start.
Your love made this possible, and we thank you!