April 16, 2014
Meet Kallei Rogers and Her Family from Harbour Breton
Three-year-old Kallei has a rare form of muscular dystrophy. She is tube-fed, has a tracheotomy and uses a ventilator to breathe. She spent the first year of her life at the Janeway’s intensive care unit. Unable to move anything but her facial features, Kallei requires 24-7 care.
It is not uncommon for Kallei to be flown to St. John’s by air ambulance. She must travel to the Janeway Children’s Hospital many times a year and when she does, her parents, John and Katrina, have stayed at Ronald McDonald House. John says he will always be thankful for the House for being there for his family – for the long haul.
“We have been coming back and forth to Ronald McDonald House since the day they let people in the door,” (September 2012) John said.
While Kallei is well cared for at the Janeway, John said the stress of having a child with such complex medical needs is exhausting. When things get too overwhelming, he only needs to walk a short distance to Ronald McDonald House for a break before returning to his daughter’s bedside.
Before Ronald McDonald House opened, John and Katrina have at times spent months in St. John’s. None of their other accommodations compared to the comfort the family has found at Ronald McDonald House. John speaks highly of the groups of volunteers who come into Ronald McDonald House to cook meals for the families and has learned to graciously accept the kindness of both staff and volunteers. They have also made many friends with other families staying at the House.
“The families understand what you are going through,” John expressed, “They walk in similar shoes.”
John, Katrina and, Katrina’s parents, have all stayed at Ronald McDonald House so they can be close by Kallei.
“We love this place and I have never heard of anyone walking out of Ronald McDonald House that hasn’t been as happy as a lark with it. If you have a sick child and have to be in St. John’s this is the place to be.” said John.
While there is a great deal of research currently being conducted on medication to help cure muscular dystrophy, the family is realistic. Kallei will never be cured. John paused for a second when asked about his hopes and dreams for his only child.
“Besides the fact that I hope she outlives me, I hope she speaks. She is a paraplegic. That’s the only hope I can have. If we get any more than that it will be gravy.” – John Rogers.