Optimism Restored for Philion Family

Optimism Restored for Philion Family

little girl on crutches holding minion stuffed animalIn 2015, eight-year-old Shelby Philion sprained her ankle while riding a scooter at her home in Michigan. Six months later, she was still in constant pain and unable to walk. After countless appointments, the Philions travelled to Cleveland, where specialists diagnosed Shelby with CRPS, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

CRPS causes debilitating pain that lasts long after the initial injury has healed. Shelby’s treatment would involve training her brain to build up tolerance to the pain, and strengthening her legs. This would require a lengthy hospital stay far from home and Shelby would need her parents by her side.

little girl sitting at table with book like using standing chairThe Philions were referred to the Cleveland Ronald McDonald House, relieved to learn that any family with a child in the hospital could request a room. They took turns, alternating weeks between Cleveland and Michigan so both parents could continue working. The family reunited for weekends at the House. Shelby’s younger brother enjoyed playing with other kids at the House, and her mother Becky recalls how helpful it was to connect with other families in similar situations.

My outlook would have been completely different staying at a hotel. The more you talk to other parents and hear their stories, the more at peace and optimistic you feel. It really puts things into perspective.

Becky Philion

After six weeks of intensive treatment, the Philions were finally able to go home, where Shelby continued working to regain strength in her legs. Her family supported her by encouraging and assisting with, non-traditional rehabilitation methods such as playing fetch with the family’s dogs, which was later featured in a published case study.

Girl wearing varsity jacket standing outside

Today, Shelby is seventeen, has a 4.2 GPA, and participates in her school’s varsity tennis team. She is in her senior year of high school and looks forward to going to college next year. Shelby is doing very well and has not experienced any flare-ups since her treatment.

Becky says the family is “endlessly grateful” to the Ronald McDonald House for making it possible for them to spend time together while Shelby was receiving treatment.

The Ronald McDonald House was there for us. I think everyone has heard of it, but if you haven’t stayed, you don’t know how incredible it is.

Becky Philion

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we can help the Philion family–and many others–through some of the most difficult times of their lives.

Your gift today ensures we can support more families tomorrow.