Fa m ily P rof i l e :
Home: Monett, MO (Lawrence County) In November of 2016, our son, Ivan Stephens, became ill with what my wife and I first thought was just a common virus. As concerned parents, we took Ivan to the local emergency room, expecting a quick resolution of this issue, but that was not the case. Ivan was rushed to a major nearby hospital in Springfield, Missouri to undergo immediate medical intervention on what was, at that time, an unknown cause for his weakened self. I remember holding my weak and feeble son in a procedure room for more than two hours during the middle of the night, while experiencing multiple failed attempts to insert an IV line. With each failed attempt, my son would barely lift his head up at me and ask: “Why are you letting them do this to me, daddy?” I had no answer – all I could do was hold him, hoping and praying that our dire situation would improve. With Ivan’s kidneys starting to fail, along with his usually strong spirit now only dimly present, we experienced the spectacular actions of one NICU nurse who was able to successfully insert an IV line into our son’s body, essentially saving his life. This bought us some time to work with doctors to ascertain the root cause of his medical impairment. That next day I remember walking with my wife, holding her when she asked: “Is Ivan going to make it?” Again, I had no answer. These were tough times; times that we had not planned for, even to the extent of where we were going to sleep/clean up at night. We were told by medical staff that we might be eligible for a stay at the Ronald McDonald House during this time of need. Thankfully, we were approved and hosted by a welcoming team and a clean, convenient property that allowed us to maximize our time with our son, while taking care of our basic rest needs. Shortly after starting our stay at the Ronald McDonald House we experienced a true gift from God when a very special doctor determined the root cause of Ivan’s ailment (Bone infection leading to Sepsis) and put in place a wellness strategy to bring Ivan back to full-strength. We needed to be strong and together as a family for Ivan during this scary time. The Ronald McDonald House served as a place of rest and recovery while we focused on reaching a successful outcome for our little, special young man, Ivan.