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5-year-old patient gets a colorful homecoming

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A Quad City neighborhood is welcoming home a five-year-old girl. After going back and forth from a hospital in Peoria, she is now finally home. They wanted to give her an arrival she wouldn't forget.

Even though it was a rainy day, there was something to celebrate. You can see several welcome home signs along 37th street in Moline.

"She's just having a really hard time right now. We just wanted to make it really special for her," said Kimberly Decker, about her granddaughter.

That's where the celebration starts, at Kimberly's home. The celebration is for her five- year-old granddaughter Mariah Richardson.

"First of all she's going to be happy to be home, but she's going to be really surprised," said Kimberly.

Outside of Kimberly's home you'll notice signs, flowers, and a pink butterfly bench. All coming from friends, family and classmates. You'll notice the grass is spray painted purple too.

"She likes to play with other kids, draw and color," said Kimberly.

At the age of two Mariah was diagnosed with a kidney disease. Within the last year, she's has 10 relapses, living in and out of hospital in Peoria.

"She asked me if she was going to die, you know it was the worse thing in the world. No parent should ever have to deal with that and no kid especially," said Mariah's mother, Jamie Decker.

While in the hospital she painted a picture that now hangs on a wall there. In the picture there's lion standing on purple grass.

"She said well I always wanted to live somewhere where they had purple grass, so we're giving her purple grass," said Kimberly.

Six spray cans later they did. Thursday, April 24, 2014, family and friends stood outside waiting for her to come home.

"She took her seat belt off and was jumping back and forth in the backseat to read all the signs," said Jamie.

Even as the rain came down, they still had something to smile about.

"She really has so much to deal with, so much. She is so mature for her age. It's so nice to be able to get her back to being a kid," said Jamie.

Mariah is now trying a radiation treatment which will require her to go to Peoria once a week. A family friend has started an account under her name, Mariah Richardson at the IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union for anyone wanting to donate money to help with their expenses.


1 Comment

  • The Governor

    I can relate to Mariah in a way. I had a lot of health issues as a child, and it was a ritual for me to be in the hospital for a plethora of check-ups. The all too common visits to the University of Iowa Hospitals, the once a year surgeries, it’s all too familiar. My heart aches for this young girl. No child should ever have to live their life in a hospital. No child should ever get used to the hospital smell and foods to the point where they enjoy the food and the smell.

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