Meet Kiev and Reesa

Kiev was born with Goldenhar Syndrome, a rare facial condition that affects the face, ears, eyes, and spine at birth. He and his mother, Reesa, traveled from Trinidad and Tobago, a small island in the Caribbean, to receive craniofacial care at Shriners Children’s Ohio in February 2024.

“When we were told a room would be available at RMHC Dayton, I was so happy and relieved,” explained Reesa. “It meant we could stay just steps away from the hospital, eliminating the need to deplete my savings or rely on the generosity of friends and family to help fund hotel accommodations.” RMHC Dayton provided a place to stay, meals, and entertainment, significantly easing the family’s financial burden.

While staying at the House, Kiev celebrated his first birthday and crossed other memorable milestones. Once, between surgeries, Kiev was able to have his trach removed for a short time. The young boy began to cry. “The nurse took one look at me, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I heard Kiev cry for the first time. It was a heartwarming experience,” recalls Reesa. The proud mom shared the video with other houseguests, who joined in celebrating his achievement.

I never thought it would be possible to have a place my son and I could call home in a strange new land. We’ve made many beautiful connections with the families I have met here. There’s never a dull moment with activities for parents and kids alike. I will be forever grateful to the angelic hearts of the donors, staff, and volunteers who have made all this possible. You have no idea how many lives you are changing by providing accommodations to my family and families like us. Thank you.”