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Ronald McDonald House Charities Help Branson Family

The local community, who contribute at local McDonald’s locations, allow for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks to provide basic needs and a home-away-from-home for families whose children are in the hospital.

One such family from Branson was provided a home-away-from-home from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks, while their son was in the hospital. 

The Woods family, of Branson, found themselves in a scary situation when their son David suffered from Haemophilus Influenza Meningitis, according to a press release from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks. 

What started out to appear to just be a flu, escalated quickly for a local little boy from Branson. His health deteriorated to where he was hallucinating, having behavioral changes, forgetting learned tasks, and even lost the ability to recognize his own parents.

The Woods rushed their then 4-year-old son to the Emergency Room at Mercy in Springfield, where he was admitted and diagnosed with the bacterial infection that traveled from his spinal cord to his brain. While the Woods were dealing with their son’s hospitalization and illness, they needed to find a place to stay in Springfield to be close to David. The local Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks stepped in to help provide the family with the basic needs, including a place to stay. They also provided the support the family needed during David’s three-week hospital stay.

 “We had many scary situations in our heads of what David’s life would be like moving forward and not to mention him missing his 5th birthday party a week after he was initially admitted.” Whitney Wood, David’s mother, said in the release. “Ronald McDonald’s House Charities of the Ozarks did everything in their power to make life easier for us so we could devote all of our time to our son and help him get better.”

The staff of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks wouldn’t let David’s birthday pass without a celebration. For his birthday David was gifted with goodies, including his favorite things and movies to watch in his hospital room, all of which were provided by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozark. 

After a 10 day hospital stay, David responded well to treatment and was able to recognize his parents once again.  He has since made a full recovery and  is a perfectly healthy 5-year-old.

Local McDonald’s Owner/Operator Andy Ruprecht, along with his managers and crew, take great pride in knowing the support they and the community provide local families, like the Woods.

 “It is my local commitment as a local business owner at McDonald’s to continually support and provide to our local Ronald McDonald House,” Ruprecht said in the release. “Our customers are the best in the US and every time we do a fundraiser for our local Ronald McDonald House, they go above and beyond to make a significant impact.”

According to the Ronald McDonald House website, the Ronald McDonald House Charities is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation that creates, finds, and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. With a global network of more than 275 Chapters in over 64 countries it helps families with ill or injured children stay together, and close to the medical care their child needs at leading hospitals worldwide. It operates three core programs: the Ronald McDonald House, the Ronald McDonald Family Room and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. These programs not only provide access to quality health care, they enable family-centered care ensuring families are fully supported and actively involved in their children’s care.

 For more information visit

(Story by AJ Meakins, Branson Tri-Lakes News)

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