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Mother Describes Baby's Medical Rebound As A Christmas Miracle

Reported by: Send eMail Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Dec. 25, 2013 5:34 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 26, 2013 12:32 PM EST

EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Ronald McDonald House Families
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

It's definitely not the place many families this year thought they'd be spending Christmas, but they say they're thankful beyond believe they have they option to.

We're talking about the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston. A home away from home for families with sick children in the hospital.

"I've actually watched, the only way I can describe it, as a miracle unfold.

Lisa Smith lives in Raleigh County. A mother of a 14-year-old, she thought her days of diapers and bottles were long gone, until she found out she was pregnant about 8 months ago.

She says saying the last year of her life has been a constant surprise is an understatement.

Her son, River Jackson, was born five weeks early. Twelve hours later he was sent to Women and Children's Hospital because his lungs weren't developed.

Smith was worried about how she would be able to be by his side. She soon found out about the Ronald McDonald House and has stayed there every night since.

"It's absolutely amazing what they do here. You really don't have an idea until your're here," she says.

Last Friday, she was told River may not make it and the outlook was grim. That same day, her step-mother's pastor pulled over on the side of the road to pray for River.

"During that time he told me he had a vision, that Jesus took River out of his hands and blew into his lungs, smiled at him, and gave River back to him. The next day when I went to the hospital, River was coming off of everything. He was on full life support, they put him down to a ventilator. All within 12 hours, he was off the ventilator and breathing on his own," she says.

She can only describe what happened as a Christmas miracle. Her story is similar to to the other families living there this Christmas. They are all away from home, holding on to hope their children will be okay.

"Everybody's just so good and you forget, you know, that you're so far away from home, but I love the Ronald McDonald House," says Carolyn Whitt from Boone County. Her son Caleb is in the hospital while she is staying at the house.

Jackie Coleman is staying at the house while he great niece, Destyana, gets stronger after being born with an elevated white blood count.

"It opens your eyes to see the goodness in people that today you don't get to see very often," she says.

The Ronald McDonald House is open to all families regardless of financial status or ability to pay.

To learn more about them you can log on to www.charlestonrmhc.com



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