96.5 TDY Birthday Buddies!

Join us in wishing August Washington a very Happy 2nd Birthday!

August Jakai Washington is a happy, energetic boy who loves the outdoors and loves his mother, Jordan. On November 23 2016, August suffered from a brain injury at birth called Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). As a result, August was diagnosed with epilepsy, and he was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

August’s weight began to become a concern for doctors due to his inefficiency to eat by mouth. One of his specialists recommended a nasogastric tube, also called an NG tube. Jordan decided to bring him to St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia—about an hour away from their home in Lawrenceville, NJ—because of her personal connection to the hospital. “It was important to me that we chose St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children because of the wonderful team of doctors that cared for me when I was born with a rare condition called Gastroschisis,” she says.  

In October 2017, August went to St. Christopher’s for his NG tube, which helped to feed him through his nose. During that difficult time, August’s parents were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House for the first time, a convenience that wasn’t available to Jordan’s parents when she was born. “Unfortunately, my parents had to either stay in the hospital or travel back and forth from New Jersey for about a month when I was in the hospital,” she says.

“Coming from an hour away, the convenience of being able to stay right there and walk over to the hospital was a relief,” Jordan says. “Everyone at the House was so nice, and it was very clean.” Jordan enjoyed being able to stay among other families who were going through similar situations and who could understand what she was going through.  They stayed at the House for two nights. Then, they were able to head back home.

A few months later in December 2017, August and his family found themselves back at St. Christopher’s where they were again welcomed to stay at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House. August had been having infantile spasms, and was diagnosed with West Syndrome, a rare type of epilepsy. This stay would last 10 days, and it meant that they would be celebrating the holidays at the House. Despite the fact that they were far from home, August’s family was still able to feel the warmth of the holiday spirit. 

“The families that came in to volunteer and prepare meals were all so nice. We had Christmas dinner at the House, and August got toys from the House and from St. Christopher’s,” says Jordan. That sense of togetherness in the House continued, as they were able to connect with another family going through a similar situation. “We met another mom whose child was in the process of getting an NG tube, too, and I was able to help her out and give her pointers.” The House allowed Jordan to be able to share her experience with this family and to give them hope and encouragement. “Connecting with that family was very comforting for me as well.”

August and his mom made one more trip to St. Christopher’s in May 2018, and the House was available to them once again. At the time, doctors decided to insert a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) in his abdomen, so that he could receive the nutrition that he needs directly into his stomach.

Today, things are looking good for August and his family. “He is really happy and making progress each day! He is connected with all the right specialists (doctors), therapists, and nurses that care for him on a daily basis. Everyone who is involved in August’s care we are grateful for. We are truly thankful for the Ronald McDonald House and hope to volunteer there in the near future!”

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

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