“This is very much a relief for us.”
The Riley Relief Fund is providing a lifeline to Riley families whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus crisis. We are beginning to hear stories of families now receiving much-needed assistance from our generous donors.
For one mom, the Riley Relief Fund means the ability to pay rent after her son―already facing a serious medical condition― became one of a small number of COVID-19 cases seen at Riley Hospital. She is missing work to care for him.
Another mom had already cut back her work to care for a child with leukemia. Now, the coronavirus outbreak means her hours — and pay — have been reduced even more. The Riley Relief Fund is making it possible to pay her electric and gas bill.
The Ratrout family is also feeling deep financial impact from the COVID-19 crisis at the same time they are taking care of a child with complex medical needs.
When 5-month-old Nawras Ratrout was born at a hospital in Lafayette, Ind., he was transferred to Riley Hospital for Children with breathing issues. His mother Ghadeer says doctors found lymphatic fluid under his lungs. He stayed in the Riley Newborn Intensive Care Unit for two months, where the condition eventually cleared up. Nawras also needed treatment for an irregular heartbeat and a swallowing issue. For now, he requires a nasogastric (NG) tube for nutrition. Nawras has been able to return home, but due to the pandemic, his father has lost his restaurant job. With his mom at home, there is now no income. Ghadeer says the Social Work team at Riley connected them with the Riley Relief Fund, and it will cover their May rent.
“We are not feeling as much stress now,” says Ghadeer. “We are one of one of those families where my husband is not working, so how can we pay our rent? So this is very much a relief for us. We are very happy that Riley would help us.” In the meantime, Ghadeer says her husband is applying for other jobs. “This also makes us more nervous, so we are still thinking about what’s going to happen next.”
All gifts to the Riley Relief Fund are being doubled (up to $100,000) by Riley Children’s Endowment Life Governor Jim Morris and former board member Fred Fehsenfeld. Donations can be made at RileyKids.org/Relief.
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