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Crystal’s Liver Transplant Journey

Within the walls of their home in Lockhart, TX, one-year-old Crystal Jacobo, began to experience unknown health concerns with no explanation as to why these complications arose. Crystal’s mother, Laydia, knew something wasn’t right when she began to notice that her daughter suddenly struggled to sleep through the night with inconsolable cries, unexplained discomfort and a sudden loss of appetite. Soon, the Jacobo family’s life shattered as Crystal’s health began to rapidly decline. 

Multiple ER visits yielded no diagnosis, and the situation escalated three days after their last ER visit when Crystal’s eyes turned an unnatural yellow. Laydia, gripped by fear, questioned, “What is going on? Why are her eyes yellow?” Crystal was in distress and was then rushed to the hospital. The Dell Star Hospital in Austin, Texas, revealed elevated liver numbers, resulting in urgent admission to University Hospital located in San Antonio Medical Center for emergency care. 

As medical investigations unfolded, Laydia shared that extensive testing failed to provide an official diagnosis, though it was suspected to be an immune system issue. Despite exhaustive efforts, attempts to salvage her failing liver proved futile. The result of this medical mystery was a liver transplant, thrusting the family into a realm of waiting and uncertainty. “It was scary; we didn’t know what her liver problems meant. No one in our family had experienced this before,” Laydia shares. On May 20th, 2023, just shy of her second birthday, Crystal underwent a liver transplant that marked the start of a new chapter of healing and recovery from her procedure. 

RMHC San Antonio Provides more than just a Home to Families 

Embarking on the path to recovery, the Jacobo family found themselves at the doorstep of the Ronald McDonald House, a crucial juncture in their journey. On June 23rd, 2023, just a month after Crystal’s surgery, a compassionate hospital social worker guided them to the welcoming embrace of RMHC—a beacon of hope illuminating the arduous recovery road for young Crystal and her family. RMHC swiftly became a lifeline for Laydia and her family. The weight of the unknown bore heavily on Crystal’s parents, but the seamless transition facilitated by the hospital and RMHC staff eased their minds during this unfamiliar journey. 

When asked what her family would have done without RMHC, Laydia said, “I have no idea, not at all. I have no clue,” emphasizing the indispensable role RMHC played in their lives. The support, both emotional and practical, became a cornerstone for the Jacobo family. “Everyone is so nice there; they treat us like family. Whatever we need, they are there,” Laydia attests. RMHC not only provides housing, food and transportation, but stands as a pillar of providing emotional support during challenging times. 

Despite Crystal’s surgery, the Jacobo family continues to navigate the complexities of her recovery, encountering hospital visits as a recurring chapter. Laydia, acknowledging the hardships, stands resolute, states, “It’s hard, but we have to be there for her and show her that we love her and care about her more than anything.” Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio strives in providing solace and a genuine sense of home, a comforting constant as the Jacobos patiently awaits the day they can reunite in the familiarity of their own home. 

Help Bring the Spirit of the Holidays to our Families 

Your support to the Ronald McDonald House, makes it possible for families, like the Jacobo family, stay close to the resources they need during every visit and follow-up appointment. Families like the Jacobos rely on Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio during unforeseen circumstances. During the season of giving, we invite you to join us in providing the same level of care to families like the Jacobos—because with your support, we can be a constant source of comfort and aid for them.