The following content is created in consultation with Michael & Son. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Washington's editorial staff. To learn more about Michael & Son, visit MichaelandSon.com.
Ayden Wilkins is a young boy who’s had it hard from the start. Born premature and weighing only 1.5 pounds, Ayden spent a majority of his first year in the hospital under intensive care. Because of his under developed heart, Ayden breaths with the help of a tracheotomy. Little Ayden doesn't just rely on tubes for oxygen; he uses them to eat as well. Standing over his crib and watching his mother, Christina, stroke his cheek and check his various monitors is a heart breaking experience.
"He sleeps like an angel" Christina said as she pulled a blanket over his tiny legs.
After Ayden’s birth, it was a struggle for Christina to bring him home. The family patiently waited as medical complications continued to delay Ayden’s return. Christina finally got the call and was told Ayden could be discharged; unfortunately, the joy from the good news would be short lived. The Wilkins family home was having issues with their HVAC system, and Virginia was seeing some of its highest temperatures in decades. Because of Ayden’s condition, the hospital could not discharge him to a home without adequate ventilation, heating and cooling. The Wilkins family, who was still trying to get out from under the mountain of medical bills, couldn't possibly afford the thousands it would cost to replace the family’s HVAC system and portions of the duct work. Christina began to pray that someone would help the family bring their son home.
Her prayers were answered when a family friend wrote a letter to The Michael & Son Cares Program. Michael & Son Services, an Alexandria, VA based home improvement company with an office in Richmond, helps families facing hardships with home repairs they cannot afford. When Proud Son and Owner of Michael & Son Services, Basim Mansour, read the letter he immediately contacted his Richmond team and started working on a plan to help the family.
“When I read the letter regarding Ayden there was no question about: We would do whatever was necessary to give Ayden a safe and healthy home” said Mansour. The Michael & Son Cares Team provided the family with a new HVAC unit, duct work and some electrical repairs.
The Michael & Son Cares Program continues to assist families in Washington, D.C., Maryland and North Carolina. If you or someone you know is currently facing a hardship and cannot afford home repairs, contact the Michael & Son Cares Program at Michaelandsonhelpinghands.com.
Published at 5:28 PM EDT on Mar 18, 2014 | Updated at 6:21 PM EDT on Mar 20, 2014