Finding a home miles away

Taliyah and her mom Morine came to the Ronald McDonald House this summer from St. Vincent, an island in the Caribbean over 1900 miles away from Richmond, Virginia. Their stay would be for two months, but the impact the House had on them will last a lifetime.

As an infant, Taliyah’s eyesight began deteriorating. Morine noticed early on that her daughter would continuously hold objects close to her face in an attempt to see them clearly. When she noticed this pattern, she took her to the doctor. It turned out this was a serious issue and the small island did not have the medical capacity to help Taliyah. Morine was connected with World Pediatric Project, and organization based out of Richmond. They offered to fly Taliyah and Morine here to see an eye doctor who was willing to treat Taliyah at no cost. Because Taliyah and Morine would need to be in Richmond for an extended period of time, World Pediatric Project arranged for them to have a room at the Ronald McDonald House.

Although they were far away from home, Morine commented on how comforting and positive her and Taliyah’s experience was at the house. “Before we arrived, Taliyah was a fairly content child at home, but after only two months of being around a lot of people at RMHC, she has become a more social, happier one year old.”

Morine personally was most impacted by the friendliness and continuously upbeat attitude of the staff and volunteers. “Even on a bad day, I could come downstairs and have a reason to smile.”

Taliyah’s surgery was successful and almost immediately her vision improved. She was able to see more clearly and would point out things around the room as her eyes met them for the first time. Morine was excited to get back to her family in St. Vincent but left Richmond with immense gratitude for the care Taliyah received and their home-away-from-home at the Ronald McDonald House.