Ash is a vivacious 4-year-old who radiates energy and loves reading, drawing, “The Super Mario Brothers movie” and making up songs with his dad, Sean. Ash’s creativity knows no bounds! Watching him as he snuggles with his mom, Sherri, you’d never know his life had a very tough beginning.
Sherri dreamed of having a child and couldn’t have been more thrilled to find out she was pregnant at the end of 2018. Her pregnancy was smooth sailing— until she took a fall at work. Her doctors assured her everything was fine but at 32 weeks, Sherri’s water broke at the start of her first birthing class.
Six hours later, Ash was born, weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce. He was immediately taken to the University of Michigan Health at Sparrow Children’s Center’s NICU where he stayed for 33 days. Ash was stable but put on a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and an IV while he learned to do everything on his own.
Although this family was familiar with the Ronald McDonald House of Mid-Michigan, they would soon learn the House offered the exact support they needed. The hospital encouraged Sherri and Sean to stay at the House to provide them with a comfortable place that allowed them to spend as much time with Ash as possible.
For just over a month, the family called the House their home away from home. During their stay, they grew to love the caring employees and cherish the community cultivated to support them with home-cooked meals and comfort after late-night hospital visits, especially when Ash wasn’t passing his car seat test. Sherri and Sean said the best thing about the House was its proximity to the hospital. Making the 45-minute trip to the Children’s Center from their home in Owosso would’ve made trips to see Ash even more difficult. With the House across the street — just steps from their son — Sherri and Sean could visit the Children’s Center any time.
In July 2019, after finally passing all his tests, Sherri and Sean took Ash home from the hospital. They left the House with bittersweet feelings, though. While it was exciting for the family to be headed back to Owosso, they said they would miss the friendships they made during their stay at the House.
Sherri and Sean were inspired to give back by donating home-cooked meals (just like the ones they enjoyed during their stay) in hopes of helping other families walking a similar path. Though it’s been a few years now, the family will never forget their time at the House, grateful for the comfort, security and relationships it gave them.