The Saxton Family

August 29th, 2023 | Our Families

The Saxton Family was honored at the 34th Annual RMHC-Madison Golf Classic & Red Shoe Soirée on August 6—the one-year anniversary of their “going home” date from the House. Family members are former Courtesy Corporation McDonald’s employees and true ambassadors of the Ronald McDonald House, not realizing that one day they would utilize its services. 

On July 16, 2022, the Saxton Family was enjoying a typical day at their home in Bangor, WI. Leigha and Jeffrey were sneaking in housework and yardwork in between chasing around their three adventurous boys, Parker (4), Jonah (2) and Isaac (3 months).

That afternoon, Jeffrey and Parker decided to set out on their tractor as they had done many times before. While riding beside Jeffrey, Parker fell off the back of the tractor and his lower half went underneath the mowing deck. Parker sustained severe injuries and was rushed to a medical facility in La Crosse and then to UW-Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) in Madison.

Parker remained at AFCH for three weeks with his dad by his side every night on the fold-out couch in his room. Meanwhile, Leigha spent her first two nights at the hospital on the PICU floor in a “sleep room” that barely fit Isaac’s pack n’ play. The next day, Leigha received a call that a room was ready at the Ronald McDonald House (RMHC). She recalls, “It never felt so good to sleep in a regular-sized bed and be able to wake up and use the kitchen to prepare breakfast.”

It goes without saying that with Parker in the hospital and Jonah and Isaac at the House, it truly took a village. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles were able to take turns to help care for the younger boys between Leigha’s trips up to the hospital. Aside from a place to sleep and eat, the House provided a sense of normalcy for Jonah and Isaac with a space to run, play and be kids.

Over the family’s stay, employees learned of the Saxton’s long-standing connection to RMHC as Leigha and her father, Jim, had worked for McDonald’s for 7 years and 50 years, respectively. Throughout their time with Courtesy Corporation-McDonald’s, Leigha and Jim became incredible ambassadors of RMHC. While knowing the good work of RMHC, Leigha never imagined that one day, her own family would utilize its services.

During a subsequent visit to the House for a follow-up appointment, Jonah eagerly took his older brother on a tour proudly showcasing “his room”, “his playground” and “his playroom”. These several words truly illustrate how the House had become home to a two-year-old.