In spelling class, just after gym, little fourth-grader Shawn
Fitzmorris suddenly developed difficulty breathing, became weak and faint and
went into “an almost total black-out,” his father Larry said. When the elementary school called Shawn’s father that Friday afternoon saying that Shawn
had passed out, Larry was very scared.
“They were quite alarmed at school. They couldn’t get a response from
him. His eyes were closed; he wouldn’t squeeze their hand when they asked him to,”
he said. The Fitzmorris family was sent to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.
The Sleepy Hollow Ronald McDonald House opened in 1983. The Fitzmorris family was the first family to take advantage of the clean and comfortable house just steps away from the hospital. Arriving in Wichita from Lucas, Kansas which is located 60 miles west of Salina, they had a concern regarding where they were going to stay. They had no idea of Shawn's condition or how long they would be in Wichita. A nurse at the hospital recommended they stay at the new Ronald McDonald House. This would be perfect because Shawn was scheduled for an early morning brain wave test that required him to be asleep. Because most freckle-faced, 10-year-old
baseball players aren’t accustomed to sleeping during the day, his parents
roused him at 2 am so he could fall asleep for the test. Instead of having a miserable night dozing in
and out of sleep in hospital room chairs, Charlene and Larry were
able to take shifts with Shawn. One
parent was able to sleep in a comfortable bed at the Ronald McDonald House
while the other played Monopoly and Yahtzee at the hospital.
Shawn’s doctors examined him after his brain wave test and
sent him home. His parents made sure to monitor his heart
condition but were happy to say that he never had any more incidents. Shawn is now a father of three who just ran
his first marathon. To this day, the Fitzmorris family is very thankful for
Ronald McDonald House Charities Wichita and the support that was offered to the