The Price Family

Families heal faster when they can stay together.

At 20 weeks into her pregnancy, Macey and Jonathan Price received a devastating fetal diagnosis of bilateral multicystic dysplastic kidneys, an abnormal fetal development where both kidneys consist of irregular cysts and have no function. To make matters even more frightening, the condition results in a lack of amniotic fluid around the fetus and inadequate lung growth, which would be fatal for the baby.

Unwilling to give up, Macey and Jonathan found a trial in the Texas Medical Center that might give their unborn son, Thomas, a fighting chance. The trial procedure involved injecting fluid into the amniotic sac to simulate a womb environment and encourage lung development. They made the long drive from Mississippi to Houston, where Macey underwent multiple amnioinfusions. The experimental procedure worked, and Thomas was born at 35 weeks with strong lungs. However, his non-functioning kidneys meant that he would need dialysis until he could receive a transplant.  The family returned to Mississippi until Thomas could grow a bit larger and stronger to prepare for a kidney transplant.

Two-year old Thomas and his family returned to Houston in early 2023, intending to stay only for a few months. Macey was going to donate one of her kidneys to Thomas, and the family planned to recuperate together. However, doctors determined that Thomas’ anatomy would not accommodate Macey’s kidney, so their only option was to wait in Houston for a donor. Their two-month anticipated stay stretched to unknown lengths.

During the nearly 10-month wait for a donor kidney, the Price family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House on Holcombe Blvd, close to Thomas’s doctors, the transplant team, and the life-saving dialysis he needed 4 times every week.

“We never could have managed the expense and our mortgage back home if we had to stay in a hotel or rent an apartment for this entire year,” Jonathan says. “We definitely enjoyed the meals that were provided by companies and organizations that came to the house. We met with other transplant patients and NICU families that knew what we were going through. There was a sense of community.”

Thomas particularly loved the weekly interactive music sessions with other kids and families in the great room of Holcombe House. He quickly became the music teacher’s favorite student with his enthusiastic participation and a contagious smile that lit up the room.

On December 18 Thomas finally received a kidney and underwent transplant surgery. With his parents at his side, he recovered quickly and without any major complications.  After 343 nights at the Ronald McDonald House, Thomas and his parents were finally ready to go home to Mississippi.

The average stay at our House on Holcombe Blvd. is 3 months, with some families staying for up to 3 years as their child receives life-saving treatment. During this time, RMHC strives to alleviate ancillary costs such as lodging, food, toiletries, transportation and more. Families staying at Ronald McDonald House never receive a bill and can stay as long as their situation warrants.