It was a lazy Tuesday for the Rainsberg clan. When 15-year old Tzak, his sister Abbi and friend Kim ran out to the grocery store, they had no idea how abruptly their lives would change.
Two and a half miles from their Carroll County home, an impaired driver hit their car head-on. All three teens were rushed to Aultman Hospital, where Abbi and Kim were treated. Tzak’s condition was more dire, and he was immediately transported to Akron Children’s Hospital.
Tzak had sustained a traumatic brain injury and a broken hip. His recovery would be long, complex and uncertain. “He was in the PICU for six to eight weeks,” said his mother Tisha. “One of us was always with him. We got on the waiting list and checked into the Ronald McDonald House on July 23rd, Tzak’s birthday.” They stayed for four months.
“It’s peaceful,” said Tisha. “The staff was so accommodating. No matter where you come from…Amish, Haiti…you’re all the same. You know that you’re not alone.”
The family shared a long-term stay room with a Hoyer bed and lift so Tzak could stay with them during his day rehab. “We could blend the food for his GI tube right in the room,” said Tisha. “There are TVs in every room. And they have the best coffee in the world!”
Nearly two years after the accident, Tzak still requires 24-hour care. He uses a wheelchair and communicates by blinking and pointing. “He’s now in school Monday through Friday, and he’s on the bowling team,” said Tisha. “He’s getting better every day.”
Since 1985, the Ronald McDonald House Akron has helped thousands of families stay close to their children during hospital stays and treatments.
For so many families like the Rainsbergs, the House is the only housing option during a time of incredible challenge and stress. Donations fund 98% of the operating costs of the House, where the staff is supported by hundreds of volunteers, corporate and individual donors, and local restaurants.
In short, it takes a generous community to make this House run. Find out how you can help here.