March 22, 2018
MEET MADISON ATKINS-PLOWMAN AND HER FAMILY FROM HAWKES BAY
It is hard to put into words how a parent feels when their child has been seriously injured in a snowmobile accident. It has to be one of the most stressful and frightening times for a parent. And for families who don’t live close to the care and resources they need, there is an added stress, distance. This is where Ronald McDonald House can help. RMHC gives families with a sick child what they need most – each other.
Thursday April 16, 2015 was a day like any another. It was the perfect day for a snowmobile ride. When suddenly, laughter and enjoyment turned to tragedy. The snowmobile that 13-year-old Madison was riding collided with a vehicle. Madison was rushed to the nearby hospital only to be immediately air-lifted to St. John’s. Her injuries were considered to be life-threatening. Madison’s mother Veronica accompanied her by air-ambulance while her Dad, Monty, faced a 10-hour drive from Hawkes Bay to St John’s (993km). The family was faced with a challenging road ahead. One filled with long drives, hospital stays, ongoing physiotherapy, treatments for a Traumatic Brain Injury and a Brachial Plexus injury to Madison’s left arm (damage of nerves that transmit signals from the spine to extremities such as the shoulders, arms and hands). Something no parent or family can prepare for. They worried about numerous things especially the long term effects of Madison’s injuries. But even the simple things worried them, like where they would stay. Shortly after Madison’s arrival in St. John’s the family were introduced to the programs and services of Ronald McDonald House.
“It was certainly comforting for Madison to see our room at Ronald McDonald House from her hospital room. From the very first day during our tour, our family felt a sense of comfort and support from the other families and volunteers at Ronald McDonald House” Veronica Atkins
Madison was hospitalized for 41 nights following the accident. While she made some improvements, Madison’s journey is far from over The Atkins-Plowman Family has found strength at Ronald McDonald House. Over the past three years, The family have been guests of RMHC on 11 occasions now totaling 72 nights.
“Everything we experienced at Ronald McDonald House was above and beyond any expectations we had at the time. The Home for Dinner program, the Magic Room and the Quilt programs were definitely three of our favorites. With appointments, treatments and therapy ongoing, Ronald McDonald House has become a place that our family has come to rely on. Thank you for supporting our family with your donations to Ronald McDonald House. I can’t imagine what this experience would have been like without this beautiful home-away-from-home” Veronica Atkins