96.5 TDY Birthday Buddies!

Join us in wishing Scarlett Willett a very Happy 1st Birthday!

Last year, Jeremy and Amanda Willett were thrilled to bring Scarlett, their new baby, from the hospital to their home in Reading, Pennsylvania. A few weeks later, they noticed Scarlett had some swelling and did not seem to be feeling well. Doctors in her hometown diagnosed her with coarctation of the aorta—a narrowing of the blood vessel that delivers blood to the body.

Scarlett had to be transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which is an hour and a half away from home—not an easy trip for the Willets to take back and forth every day. Jeremy and Amanda stayed at the hospital and shared a cot for the first four nights. Then, a room finally opened at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.

For two months, the Willetts called the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House their home, spending their days in the hospital with Scarlett and their evenings and nights with other families at the House.  “We are really, really grateful for the House,” says Jeremy. “I was amazed to see the kitchen and the playroom, and how nice the rooms were. The House was supplying us with diaper bags, baby toys, just anything that we would need. If it weren’t for the Ronald McDonald House, I don’t know how we would have managed.”

The Willets also bonded with other guest families at the House. “Meeting other families who were going through similar things is what helped the most,” says Jeremy. “We’ve become good friends with some people who were staying at the House.”

Before long, Scarlett’s health grew stronger. Her swelling went down completely, and she was starting to vocalize. When they finally returned to Reading, Scarlett’s personality really started to show. “When we first brought her home her face lit up! Her room is decorated all over with Mickey mouse and elephants. When she first saw it, her eyes lit up and opened wide. She was so excited, she would lay in her crib just kicking her legs and smiling.”

“Today, Scarlett is doing very great,” says Jeremy. She has a few hurdles to overcome, so she has nursing care throughout the day, and she had another surgery in August. The Willetts are grateful for all of the support they have gotten throughout their journey. “Since August, Scarlett has been very playful and is always smiling. She’s sitting up by herself and her first two teeth are growing in. We can’t wait to see her grow into a beautiful young lady.”

The Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, the first Ronald McDonald House in the world, helps keeps families, like Scarlett's, close.

You can help celebrate even more birthdays by becoming a TDY Birthday Buddy!