Feb 2nd is a day the Reuter Family will remember forever: Deacon was born. The day was filled with swirling emotions and tough decisions. He was born with a rare disorder called Oculo Auricular Verbal Syndrom (OAVS); which affects the left side of his body. Some of his symptoms include: only having one lung, his left ribs fused together, under developed ears, and a horseshoe shaped kidney. From the beginning, the Reuter’s have faced a rollercoaster of decisions and memories. Deacon under went three open heart surgeries during his nine months stay in the PICU at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. His Mom, Caitlin, says, “He is a strong little guy!”
Caitlin went to the Family Room at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital to relax. “Not having to leave the floor but being able to get out of the hospital room was great. I could be close to Deacon in case anything went wrong, but also had a break.” Caitlin enjoyed the home-cooked dinners provided each night and was grateful for the quality items donated. “The quality of the items are like what you would pick out to use yourself.” Caitlin says. The kitchen felt like her kitchen at home. “I think about how different things would have been without the Family Room. I didn’t have to worry about meals, snacks, or coffee! It was all right there. I didn’t have to leave the floor.”
The Reuter Family used the Family Room for some quality time together outside of the hospital room. “That was a big deal.” says Caitlin. They have three other boys who are very active. The activities, toys, and television for the family to use was helpful for the long days. The space brought a little bit of normalcy to family time during a very unpredictable time. For the Reuter Family, the Family Room was a “life saver”.