Mason’s Story

There doesn’t seem like enough words to express how thankful we are for everything you have done for our family.

21766656_297392380738444_5134201689792138809_nOur journey began at our 20 week ultrasound in January, 2017.  We learned our baby Mason had a rare congenital heart disease known as CCTGA, congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries. The future for him looked so easy — as easy as heart disease comes. He was born perfectly healthy, with no signs of distress.

At about a month old, things began declining slowing. At 3 ½ months old Mason and our family traveled to Boston Children’s for his first open heart surgery. Thirty days later we returned back to Virginia to find he was in heart failure. After months of trying to control it, he showed no improvement. That was when we faced our only option — to list him for transplant. 

We felt so scared, but after asking our doctor to give him life and he led us here, we knew it had to be done.43539698_492767594534254_5497748148233175040_n

August 30, 2018 we went for Mason’s G-tube surgery. It was that admission we realized he was in complete heart block. About a week and a half after discharge we came back in due to issues with his G-tube. That’s when we realized that this was “the admission,” the one that kept us in until Mason got a new heart.

On October 21, 2018 Mason received the greatest gift of all, his perfect donor heart. During our admission my husband and I took shifts. I spent the week in the hospital with Mason, while my husband worked and cared for our two girls. The weekends he took hospital shifts while I spent needed time with our girls.

For those couple of months it felt so hectic and we all felt so spread apart.

It wasn’t until coming to The Alyssa House that our family felt whole again. The Alyssa House felt so warm and welcoming, and was the best recovery regimen our entire family needed.


We have spent more time bonding and enjoying as a whole family than it feels like we ever had before.

It’s been a true blessing to have a place to call home through our post transplant care. It was an honor to stay here, to learn about Alyssa, and partake in the house lighting. The generosity of everyone with The Alyssa House is beyond words. We feel honored and blessed to make this house our home for a short while.

mason-haislipIt is with sincere gratitude and appreciate that we thank you. It’s hard to leave the place that gave me comfort during an anxious time, but I hope it helps the next family as much as us.




Tiffany, Dustin, Mason, Arianna, and Aubrey Haislip



Nehemiah’s Story — Family Testimonial

“I don’t know how to express how it felt, just being able to come home to my whole family.”


“ I was 20 weeks pregnant when they thought there was something wrong with Nehemiah’s spine. So they sent me to a specialist to get a more indepth ultrasound, which is when they found out he had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. From there we had to see a doctor almost every week…”

Nehemiah-in hospital“The cardiologist at VCU referred us to UVA. … Nehemiah was born on April 1st and he had his first heart surgery on April 4th. … He was in recovery for months. We were about to go home in June and he got a blood infection that could have been fatal for him.That put him in for 6 more weeks.

“First we stayed at hotels for a couple of nights… I have a large family. We had to go up to the hospital on weekends and alternate the children. It was really hard leaving them and being apart. They hadn’t seen their brother in  months.

“Our social worker told us about The Alyssa House. We were all able to stay at the house and spend with Nehemiah at the hospital every day… We were all together.  

“It’s been a wonderful experience. Everyone was so nice and they made sure we had everything we needed.

“The children don’t want to go home. But I told them we need to leave so the next family that needs this can be close to their child.

“I think this is a wonderful thing, and we are so appreciative. I don’t know how to express how it felt, just being able to come home to my whole family. It was so hard being apart from them.

“I don’t think y’all understand how grateful I am.”

Matthew’s Story — Alyssa House Family Testimonial

4M8A4804-crop-edit“My name is Matthew. When I was born I had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. When I was born I was med-flighted from Johnson City, Tennessee, on July 31, 2008 to the University of Virgina Children’s Hospital … I had three open heart surgeries by age 3.

I had good years until October 2018. I developed a cough.

The heart was producing protein which leaked into my lungs, causing casts [caulk-like plugs] to cling inside of my longs. The disease is known as plastic bronchitis. The only cure is a heart transplant.

I came back to UVA on March 5, 2019, until May, 5, 2019 when a heart was found for me. I stayed at UVA for three weeks and then was released to The Alyssa House. I want to thank my donor and his family, the medical staff and God for seeing me through this time.”

“Thank you to The Alyssa House for letting us stay here. This place has been perfect for Matthew.”

— Matthew Osborne & Family


Olivia — A Heart Transplant Superhero!

IMG_0910Olivia has been a true heart transplant superhero! We’re overjoyed she got to go home healthy and happy with her loving parents.

When you donate to The Alyssa House, you help families just like this!

“October 10, 2018: Olivia Rose is born. Our very first child. For a while, everything seemed to be normal. We had our baby home for a little over a month and then it happened…

“She was sick — or so I thought. I noticed her wheezing and called the nurse triage line for advice. After talking to the nurse and describing everything I saw, she instructed me to go to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Urgent Care immediately. I went and had Olivia evaluated and the doctor sent us home with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis, otherwise known as a baby cold.

“I took her home and watched closely over the next few days. Two days later, Nov 26, 2018, Olivia couldn’t hold any milk down and eventually she lost her appetite completely. I called her pediatrician and asked that he see her that day. He evaluated her and said, “I’m calling an ambulance to come pick her up because she isn’t breathing right at all.”

“We went to Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, CKHD, and they admitted her. She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. She stayed at CKHD for exactly one month before they decided she would need a heart transplant.

“Dec 26, 2018, Olivia is transported to UVA. The medical team was amazing! They all treated Olivia as their own baby and made my husband and I feel like family.

4M8A7635-edit“March 12, 2019: Olivia is given a second chance at life. She received her new heart and set the record for post-transplant recovery time! Two  weeks after surgery she left the hospital to come stay at the Alyssa House, which has been an amazing resource. This has felt like our home away from home and they helped us in our transition from hospital to home. We cannot even begin to express our gratitude.”

Thank you so much,

The Bailey Family



Special thanks to our friends at Mason’s Toy Box and Christian’s Purpose for providing a new crib and car seat for this family!

Jovie’s Story — Family Testimonial

4M8A9987-editHow exciting it was to find out that God was blessing us with our fourth precious child to love and raise!

At 19 weeks we found our that Mom had a rare pregnancy complication that would cause our sweet girl to be born early. Although we had high hopes of a scheduled delivery at 34 weeks, an emergency required delivery at 31 weeks.

Our sweet Jovie (meaning strong and happy) stayed in the NICU for 6 weeks, where she received the most outstanding care!

One of our greatest gifts during this journey was The Alyssa House, and the wonderful people that we met along the way! Our gratitude cannot be expressed adequately with words, but we will always remember this blessing and will pray for this ministry always!

With thanks and love,

The Hales

Will, Ashley, Victoria, Emery, Davis, and baby Jovie.


(Feb. 2019)

What Every Child Deserves — A Reflection on 2018

At the very heart of who we are and all we do for children is this essential truth, expressed so fervently by the one who continues to inspire us: Alyssa Grace Divers.

1020121222aFor Alyssa, nothing was more important than family.

That’s why we’re passionately committed to giving immunocompromised children in medical crisis who are far from home what every child deserves – a safe and warm place to stay during their medical treatment with their families at their side. Whatever it takes.

IMG_1684-edit-betterThanks to amazing supporters like you, The Alyssa House is achieving our ambitions. We’re forging key partnerships, making new friends who share our love for these families, and advocating for best place to call home-away-from-home. Together, we are achieving truly remarkable results.

In 2018, we provided over 350 nights of free housing at The Alyssa House for children receiving care at the UVA Children’s Hospital.

IMG_0124Housing that provided a place of refuge for those far from home and peace of mind during true crises. Thanks to people like you, our Alyssa House families are never charged a cent. Every dollar donated to The Alyssa House helps keep our doors open and our services completely free.

Our ‘Alyssa House’ kids  bravely battled cancer, recovered from major organ transplants, fought rare illnesses, and overcame the challenges of genetic disorders. Our guests ranged from newborns less than 72 hours old, all the way up to 18-year-olds, getting ready to take on the adult world..

After staying with The Alyssa House, our guests went on to graduate from high school, return to dance classes, win medals in the Transplant Games of America,… and most importantly, just enjoy being kids again.

IMG_1529_editWe are also very pleased to report that every single child who stayed at The Alyssa House in 2018 was fortunate to return home with a positive medical outcome.

As we enter 2019, we ask for your continued support of our shared cause… Our Alyssa House children and families deserve our very best. 

In true Alyssa fashion, nothing is more important than family.

Thank you,

Holly Duke, Board Chair

On Behalf of The Alyssa House Board of Directors & The Family of Alyssa Grace Divers


Holiday Surprise for a Former Alyssa House Family!

IMG_2985 (2)-editChristmas came early, thanks to our incredible friends at Mason’s Toy BoxMason’s Toy Box went above and beyond for this former Alyssa House family, and surprised Elaina on her 4th birthday. Elaina and her family stayed The Alyssa House this summer, while recovering from an emergency dialysis surgery.

Elaina received a new handicap accessible power wheels, which will help her play outside with her sibling and other kids her age! Elaina has caudal regression syndrome and uses a wheelchair.

A huge thank you to Mason’s Toy Box, for all they do for pediatric patients and their families. The Alyssa House is so grateful to be surrounded by such a loving organization and caring community.


Give the Gift of Family

TAH Giving Tuesday

Support The Alyssa House this #Giving Tuesday, and help us ‘Give the Gift of Family!’

We strive to surround each family that stays at The Alyssa House with compassion, comfort and grace, allowing them to be together during the most traumatic of times. But we can’t do it without your help.

We hope this Giving Tuesday you will consider making a financial contribution, within your means, to help ensure that we enter 2019 well-positioned to continue supporting families. Your generosity means we are able to keep our doors open to our fragile families in need.

Donate online through Virginia Organizing’s Network for Good here: DONATE

Scroll through and select The Alyssa House as your donation designation.

Helping Families…

IMG_0077.JPG“I just want to thank The Alyssa House for allowing my family to be together for such a scary time in our lives, for loving on us, and making sure all our needs were met. You took a huge weight off our shoulders.

“We came to UVA Children’s Hospital for an emergency dialysis surgery. We came fighting. We couldn’t see the end. Thank you to UVA doctors, nurses, and all staff for caring for my baby girl. You loved on us all and always encouraged us. You got my baby feeling so much better and I will always be grateful for that.

The Alyssa House will always hold a special place in our heart. We have been blessed to be able to stay at The Alyssa House. We got to stay here for free — all because people have given. “