My niece has been through so much in her young life. She is 12 years old but has went through more than what most people go through when they are senior citizens. She was diagnosed with a rare illness three years ago, and she has spent more time in the hospital than out. The doctors finally declared her to be healthy enough to come home, and our community really stepped in to make sure it was a great homecoming. They had contacted a party bus company to rent a bus for her and the immediate family to come home.

We knew she would be tired, but she was also so excited to get to come home and see her two dogs every day, plus just sleep in her own bed for more than a few nights. We decided that just my sister, her husband and I would be at the hospital for her discharge. When we walked out, she was so excited to see the party bus. She had no idea that her three brothers, her other aunts and uncles, her grandparents and a few friends were inside waiting for her.

The doctors already told us that it would not be too much for her to handle. When we helped her up the steps and she saw everyone, she couldn’t stop laughing. That noise was so wonderful to hear! We had her favorite music playing, the strobe lights were going, and everyone waited their turn to hug her. The community could not have picked a better way for us to get her home. We did take the long route and even stopped at her favorite fast food restaurant just so she could enjoy the experience even longer. When we got to her house, she was tired but so happy. It feels amazing to have her home rather than in the hospital, and her ride to home is going to be one of those happy memories that she never forgets.