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The Mitchell Family stayed close at the West County Ronald McDonald House after Jailee’s terrifying accident

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On October 17, 2019, fifteen-year-old Jailee Mitchell was rushed to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Mercy Hospital Springfield in Missouri after an all-terrain vehicle accident. For the next three weeks, Jailee was treated for a traumatic brain injury caused by multiple fractures and hemorrhages, a hematoma on her spleen, and fractures on her ribs and ankle. Her medical team recommended she be transferred over 400 miles to Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital in Maryland Heights, Missouri, for specialized care.

Jailee’s mother, Beverly, traveled four and a half hours with her from their home in Washburn, Missouri, to find hope and healing in St. Louis. Thankfully, the Ronald McDonald West County House offered the Mitchell family a home-away-from-home during Jailee’s recovery.

“Without Ronald McDonald House, there’s no way my family and I could have afforded to be with my daughter during her stay in the hospital so far away from home,” says Beverly. “The hotels in the area were too expensive to be an option for our family.”

Throughout the next four months, Jailee slowly gained strength from rounds of therapy and having her family close. Her mom also gained strength by making meaningful connections at the House after long days at the hospital.

“There was a helpful volunteer by the name of Diane; she was such a comforting soul. She always listened, had encouraging words to say, and made sure I had basic toiletry items and something to eat each evening because I was always the last one in for supper,” says Beverly.

In April 2020, Jailee was healthy enough to head back home, and the Mitchell Family checked out of the Ronald McDonald House. In October of 2020, one year after the accident, the Mitchell family hosted a celebration, honoring Jailee’s journey after the accident and celebrating the challenges she has overcome. The family even got matching tattoos of a green awareness ribbon with the letters TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) to support Jailee!

Now, seventeen-year-old Jailee continues to attend therapy but is enjoying her life as a typical teenager. On a recent follow-up appointment in St. Louis, the Mitchell Family stopped by the West County Ronald McDonald House to visit the staff. Beverly summed up the experience at RMHC like this:

“My family and I will forever be grateful for RMHC. It may not be home, but it’s the next best thing!”

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