Heartbeat: CH Story, RMHENC update
The first time Reece and his family visited the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, it was 2008. Reece was just five years old, and as a result of cystic fibrosis, was left with no function in his left lung. His doctors decided he was better off without it. After the surgery, his lung function recovered to 64 percent and eventually the Thompsons returned home.
As the years went by, however, Reece’s lung function dropped to 13 percent, which meant that he needed more than five liters of oxygen daily. By September 2016, the Thompsons returned to the House in preparation for Reece’s upcoming transplant, which would replace his one remaining lung with a new donor lung. Because his organs have long since shifted to fill the space left by the diseased lung that was removed initially, Reece only has room for one lung.
While Reece was in the ICU, his parents, Doug and Leah were there by his bedside for more than 70 days. Now recovered to 80 percent lung function, fifteen year-old Reece Thompson spends his evenings with his family at the House, enjoying the best outlook imaginable.
“I feel great now that I’m at the House,” Reece said. “I’m breathing perfectly. And, because I can be with my mom and dad 24/7, I feel like I’m actually at home.”
To help keep families like the Thompsons close, share Reece’s story on your social media, and support your local Ronald McDonald Houses across North Carolina through rmhcofnc.org.
The Ronald McDonald House of Eastern NC is in the midst of finishing up their new 10,000 sq. ft expansion to the House on Moye Boulevard. Construction is going well, and they anticipate that the new addition will open mid-February.
Once the new space opens up, construction will move inside to work on renovations to the existing downstairs area of the House.
March 2 – the Ronald McDonald House of Durham & Wake is holding their annual Hearts of Gold Gala. Join the House at the event to enjoy a cocktail hour with the signature Wall of Wine and silent auction. Click here for more information.
April 20 – join our seven NC houses for our annual Sport a Shirt, Share a Night event. Join 30,000 people across the state in wearing your shirt. Proceeds from shirt purchases help provide families with a home-away-from-home. Check out your local NC House’s website for more details.