The Kohn Family
It’s been a year like no other for the Kohn family. Born with a rare heart defect, their son Will—just six-years-old—has already undergone multiple open-heart surgeries. In February, while awaiting a life-saving heart transplant, he became the first patient to move into the new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. After the move, the Kohns—who live in Bettendorf— found comfort at the Ronald McDonald Family Room, where they’re able to rest, eat a homemade meal, and grab a free snack at any time of the day.
“Monetarily, for a family that has been in the hospital as long as we have, that helps more than people know,” says father Chris. “Hospital food is expensive, plus it’s tough to leave your kid’s side, even if it’s just to get a bite to eat. Here, you don’t need to leave the unit. Not having to worry about little things like that really makes a big difference.”
On September 13, the family learned that a new heart was on its way, and one day later, the doctors performed a successful transplant. It’s still an uphill battle, but Will’s future looks brighter, and the family is one day closer to going home. “No one ever plans on being in the children’s hospital or the PICU. Things that seem so miniscule like having bananas and coffee waiting for you, or having a volunteer make you dinner—they mean a lot.”