Ryker’s life was exactly 415 days. Of that 415 days, only 56 days were spent at home. The rest were all spent within the walls of the hospital.
Before Ryker was born, I didn’t realize the world of long-term hospital stays existed. I had this fairytale belief that when people get sick they go to the hospital, get better, and go home. I had been so blind to the fact that so many kids go into the hospital and either never come out…. or they stay for months, even years without ever seeing their home. Oftentimes these children’s hospitals become home for these sweet families. It’s an experience that is so surreal and so unbelievably hard, that unless you have walked in those shoes and paced back and forth down those cold, lonely hospital halls day in and day out, you have no idea what that life is like. It’s the type of life that everyone wants to believe that it would never happen to them. I believed that… I believe that this type of thing only happens to other people, not my family. Then one day my family & my baby quickly became “those other people” and it’s a life I would never wish upon anyone.
Living in the hospital with Ryker for a year taught us as a family more than you could ever imagine! We met families where it was only the Mom there in the hospital with her child, because the Dad ran as soon as it got too hard. Most of the time the Dad would leave during pregnancy or as soon as the child’s “terminal” diagnosis would come about. A lot of these Moms also had other children at home and were juggling more than anyone ever should. We met so many families that struggled hard. We felt so blessed, because not only did we have a savings account that helped support us and our journey, but we also had a massive army of incredible friends and family behind us that helped us in every way that you could possibly imagine. So many of these families live in the hospital for years without any help from anybody. It’s heartbreaking!
After Ryker passed away we knew we had to do something. We had been shown this way of life for a reason and we wanted and needed to help! The life of having a sick child is hard enough on these families. The stress and emotions that come along with your baby being so sick that they are in the hospital for prolonged periods of time, is beyond any measure… let alone having to throw every day stress on top of the already unimaginable pain they are feeling every single day. I believe that when a parent is fighting for their child’s life, that should be their main focus. Not rent, not food, not how they are going to pay these hospital bills, just being able to BE THERE with their child in what could be their last days.
We started the Miracle Ryker Foundation to help these families in whatever way they need it most. Whether it be a piece of medical equipment that their insurance company won’t cover, rent or mortgage payment, flights to get to a specialty hospital across the country, medical bills or simply gift cards for food, fuel or clothes to help get by. We want to help these families and take a little bit of the burden off of their already unbearable situation.
Please help us, help them!
❤ Rachel Warner
(Miracle Ryker’s Mom)