Alyssa and service dog Elmo

Confronted by a serious medical condition, Alyssa and her mom found hope and friendship at the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House.

Three years ago, Alyssa was placed on life support after becoming ill with a serious infection. The young girl, who lives in San Jose with her family, had already experienced a long list of medical challenges during her life, including autism and genetic syndromes. But this new condition seemed different, more severe.

Alyssa’s mom, Monique Davilla, could only stand by helplessly as doctors prepared her for the worst — that her daughter was unlikely to recover. “As a parent, this was very difficult to hear and accept,” Monique remembers. “However, with time, Alyssa slowly showed us that she wasn’t going to give up.”

Alyssa continued to fight, and four months later, she was finally discharged from the pediatric intensive care unit of her local hospital. Nevertheless, Monique knew that an extensive and difficult road to recovery still lay ahead.

Today, life for the Davillas is filled with doctors’ appointments and various therapies to restore Alyssa’s health. One of these appointments led to the discovery of the Neurological and Physical Abilitation Center (NAPA), not far from Long Beach, which was able to offer help and hope to Alyssa and her family.

“As we were planning for the trip, the clinic informed me that we would be able to stay at the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House,” Monique says. “I was beyond relieved—with all of Alyssa’s ongoing medical expenses we have struggled financially.”

Monique and Alyssa, along with their service dog Elmo, recently arrived at the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House for their first month-long course of intensive therapy at NAPA. Monique immediately felt a rush of joy and relief to know they had a safe, comfortable place to stay, delicious daily meals, and the love and support of so many wonderful new friends.

Since then, Monique and Alyssa have called the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House their “home away from home” on two additional occasions. It brings Monique such reassurance to know the House will continue to keep her and Alyssa close to the care and resources they need when they return for follow-up treatments. And all of us at the House will be waiting with open arms every time they arrive!