HOW TO STAY

The Croft Family

The Croft Family

Stayed 18 nights here at RMHC from Myrtle Beach

‘They should call it the Ronald McDonald “Home” because it’s as if someone opened their home to you and took care of you during one of the scariest times of your life. They make sure all of your needs are met, leaving you to focus only on the health of your child, nothing else. We will always consider the RMH-Charleston part of our family. ‘ Jennifer Croft

For many people, the day after Thanksgiving is spent getting a jump-start on holiday shopping and waiting for store doors to open. However, Chip and Jennifer Croft spent it differently. They hadn’t been up all night seeking sales, but rather waiting in the room of the hospital after the premature birth of their daughter.

The couple was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first child when Jennifer was diagnosed with HELLP (Hemolysis Elevated Liver Enzymes and Low Platelet Count) Syndrome, which is life threatening to both the mother and the child. Immediately after diagnosis, her doctors ordered an emergency C-section at the MedicalUniversity of South Carolina. Chip and Jennifer traveled from their home in Myrtle Beach to Charleston for the surgery. On November 21, 2011, Karli Croft was born eight weeks before her due date.

Doctors put Karli in the Level 2 Nursery at MUSC to closely monitor her for the next three weeks. Her parents checked into the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston two days later. Upon arrival, they were given a tour of the house.

Jennifer says she will never forget one moment in the tour when she was shown the kitchen. They explained to us that various groups would be coming in to cook for us. Right then, I broke down crying and felt like God had taken care of us all the way around, she said.

The Crofts also enjoyed the company of other families throughout their stay. DzWe loved staying at the house and were especially grateful to have met other families whose children were enduring some of the same complications,dz Jennifer said. They stayed until a few days before Christmas when Karli was healthy enough to return home, but that would not be the last time they paid a visit. Chip and Jennifer decided they wanted to give back to other families who are going through difficult times. Every year on a date near Karli’s birthday, the family comes back to cook a meal for the families currently staying at the house.

“Right in the middle of darkness, it’s hard to see the other side,” she said, “We bring Karli with us in hopes that other families will see her as an inspiration and symbol of better days to come”.

Families, such as the Crofts, are a reminder that charity at the Ronald McDonald House is like a revolving door. Whether it is a family being taken care of or a family lending a hand to give back to others, the strength of generosity never weakens.