The Johnson Family

Mrs. Cherie Johnson, grandmother of Rylie Nicole Johnson writes:

Rylie Nicole was born Thursday, March 2, 2006. She is the daughter of Daniel and Shawna Johnson. Rylie was born on base at Irwin Army Hospital, Ft. Riley, KS.  (reason for her name).

Daniel is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and spent 13 months as a Cavalry Scout with the 1st Brigade Combat Team HHC 1-34, near Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq. He was scheduled for re-deployment in January, 2006, but received an early Christmas present when his brigade’s deployment was cancelled.

Daniel and Shawna met through relatives in Illinois while Daniel was on a 30 day leave. They were married in February 2005. Daniel’s family is from Wisconsin and Shawna’s from Illinois. The couple was in the process of closing up housekeeping and moving to Wisconsin when Rylie was born.

Rylie was flown by Life Star to Stormont Vail Neonatal Intensive Care Unit soon after her birth. She was diagnosed with pneumonia.

We learned of the Ronald McDonald House from hospital staff while we were in the process of looking for a hotel. The family incurred unexpected expenses with the additional time needed to be with Rylie during her illness. We were greatly surprised by the generosity and kindness shown to us by the staff of RMH. We each had a room with a private bath, access to food in the kitchen and laundry facilities. We always felt welcome and in fact, one afternoon a group of girls from a local university prepared freshly baked foods for our family and other guests at RMH.

The House is huge, clean, and quiet. There are plenty of rooms where you can relax, watch TV, read or just sit on the massive front porch. There is a feeling of being at home away from home during a time of stress, anxiety and coping with emotions. Even though words cannot express our gratitude, we can take with us the memory of friendliness and hospitality shown to us during our stay. With the world around us changing so fast, there is security in knowing there are so many people who continue to care about you.

There are so many people to thank…the medical team at Irwin Army Hospital, the flight crew from Life Star who transported our baby safely, the Drs and nurses at Stormont Vail NICU. We especially thank the Ronald McDonald House with our sincerity.