BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – It was supposed to be a routine pregnancy checkup for Brett Lesley. Instead, it was news hard to bear.
“So instead of finding out if I was going to have a boy or a girl, I found out my little girl had a hole in her heart. So, we were referred to a specialist,” says Lesley.
Isla was born without a thymus, or basically without an immune system. Also, a cleft lip, club foot and many other complications.
But they heard about Red Mountain Grace, which offers affordable apartments for families needing to relocate to Birmingham temporarily for medical care. They drove an hour from their home in Albertville. Isla’s had two open-heart surgeries, esophageal surgeries and finally a thymus transplant.
“It was very helpful to have people around me that were immediate family," says Lesley. "It’s like I’ve known these women forever. It’s not like an apartment you go and you borrowing this, it’s like staying at your aunt’s house, you know?”
“Being at a hospital room all day, every day can really start wearing on you. The beeps and the chirps from the machines and stuff, it just can become overwhelming. The ability to come back to an apartment that is warm and welcoming and safe just means the world to our families,” says Ashley Weaver with Red Mountain Grace.
“This year we wanted to make a difference within the community. And you know, getting an award and being recognized for being a leader in your field is great, but seeing this apartment on site and knowing that we had a hand in providing this for a needy family, it’s just so much more valuable,” says John Franklin with RealtySouth.
“You walk in and you have furniture, and your bed is made and there are pictures on the wall and it’s one thing I didn’t have to worry about. One huge thing I didn’t have to worry about, was a home for her, for my daughter. Her first home,” says Lesley.
We learned Isla’s transplant was successful. Red Mountain Grace has 22 apartments across Birmingham. You can contact them at 866-656-9064