RMHC of Washington, D.C. Community Blog

You Opened Your Heart to Help Save His


Brave Brantley’s battle started before he was even born. 

His parents, Ben and Renae, received life-changing news while Renae was 35 weeks pregnant: Brantley has a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The left chamber of his heart is severely underdeveloped, and isn’t strong enough to pump blood through his body.


Fall_TSM_Brantleys_family.jpg"This place will impact your life forever"

Brantly, far left, needed all the love he could get. Thank you for keeing his family by his side!



Ben and Renae learned that Brantley would need to have heart surgery soon after being
born. The fragile newborn would also need specialized care that he just couldn’t get at the hospital near his family’s home. Doctors advised Renae to deliver at a different hospital — one that was 300 miles away! 

Ben says the next two weeks were an emotional rollercoaster. All at once, he and Renae were excited to meet their son … and worried sick about his looming surgery. 

In preparation for the delivery, they made the trip out of town. Their hearts burst with joy when Brantley was born. One week later, he had open heart surgery. 

Sadly, the procedure was unsuccessful. Brantley had to have another surgery, and had to spend even more time recovering in the hospital. Ben and Renae were devastated. 

At a time when every moment was stressful, you offered them compassion and care.



Brantley_and_big_brother.jpg

You gave them support during a time of unimaginable worry.

Today, Brantley, left, is home with his parents and big brother Gage. Thank you for helping him!


Because of your gifts, Ben and Renae found a “home away from home” at Ronald McDonald House® right by the hospital. It meant that they could stay close to Brantley when he needed their love the most. And, it gave them support during a time of unimaginable worry.

“As a father, I think of all the fathers who can’t be with their families,” Ben says. “It was so nice to know that my family had a safe place to stay outside the hospital and a hot meal each night.” 

Ben says it made an incredible difference during those first frightening weeks.

“This place will impact your life forever,” he says. 

Brantley still has more surgeries ahead of him, but today, he’s home with mom, dad, and big brother, Gage, and getting stronger every day. Thank you for being there for him when he needed help the most!

Will you show another family the same love and support? Please click here to send a gift today. Families like Brantely's are counting on you.

Topics: ronald mcdonald house, support families