“We had hit a really rough hole at one point. We didn’t know how to get out. We didn’t know what we were going to do.”
By the time the Gonzalez family came through the doors of the Ronald McDonald House, they were going through an unbelievably painful time in their lives. Their heartbreak began when their 16-year-old son, Erik, a smart, funny, and handsome young man with his whole life ahead of him, was walking home with friends after attending a concert and was hit by a car – not once, but twice. The first vehicle who hit him never looked back.
Just before Erik turned 17, his father, mother, and two younger brothers, Gael and Michael (ages 4 and 15 at the time), checked-in to the Ronald McDonald House in Las Vegas, where they could remain by Erik’s hospital bedside through numerous surgeries and setbacks.
Erik succumbed to his injuries multiple times, but every time doctors were able to revive him. This young man had a strong will to live and his family’s will for him to survive was even stronger.
Erik’s dad, Miguel, lost his job and soon the family lost their home because they refused to leave Erik’s side. Family is everything to Miguel, and with Erik’s slow recovery, the family had to start completely over.
At the Ronald McDonald House, the Gonzalez Family was able to stay close to Erik during his recovery with little Gael spending his earliest memories at the The House That Love Built and Michael walking to and from a new high school each day. After one year and nine months, the family had a chance to feel real hope in their lives again. With the support of RMHC staff and community leaders, they moved into a new place they could call their own.
“Thank you for all the help and love and support. God bless everyone. We’re going to be a family forever. We’re going to be appreciating this forever.”