Eric and Tiffany Lewis have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill with their five-year-old son Elisha for seven weeks. During that time it has served as their sanctuary, their school and Elisha’s playground as it has become their “home-away-from-home”. While not at the hospital with their two-month-old daughter, Aletheia, they are homeschooling Elisha and trying to keep up with their own studies online. Tiffany is working on a bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education and Eric is completing a Master’s degree in divinity.
“It can get pretty stressful, Elisha can be a handful at times, like all little boys. It hasn’t been easy but we have faith and are pushing through to be here for our baby girl,” said Tiffany.
Aletheia Grace Lewis was born on September 15, six weeks early. Tiffany had been experiencing contractions for a week and had to have an emergency C-section due to a placental abruption, a complication where the placental lining separates from the uterus. After having lost their son John in 2006, Eric and Tiffany were overwhelmed and feared for the future of their daughter. They eventually learned that Aletheia was born with VACTERL Association, a group of birth defects that include vertebral anomalies, heart abnormalities, a tracheoesophageal fistula and limb defects in Aletheia’s case.
Aletheia had her first surgery when she was one day old and weighed just two pounds and nine ounces. Although she will require many more procedures, her family knows that she is a fighter and will persevere.
“Aletheia means truth in Greek. Our lives are better now that she is a part of our family, we are so thankful for every day and every second that we have with her,” said Tiffany.
The Lewis family lives in Milton, NC almost two hours away from the NC Children’s Hospital. “The Ronald McDonald House is so close to the hospital, it makes it easy for us to be there for our daughter. It’s also helped us save a lot of money. Without this place we wouldn’t be able to be with Aletheia. Our son Elisha loves it here too, especially the recent Halloween party. We get so much support and love from the staff and other families, this is a very special place,” said Tiffany.