Family House Stories: A Home for Kingston

Published on August 29, 2021

Families who spend some time of their lives at Family House San Francisco always remember its impact on them during their stay. During the most troubling time Family House, and its staff and volunteers, are nothing short of angels to these families. 

Kingston MacFarland and his family stayed at Family House recently and realized the impact of a strong and helping community during those troubled times. Today, we are sharing their story. 

Kingston was 10 weeks old when he was diagnosed with biliary atresia, which is “ a rare condition in newborn infants in which the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent” according to UCSF Medical Center. After his Kasai (a surgical treatment performed on infants with Type IVb choledochal cyst and biliary atresia to allow for bile drainage) failed, he had his whole liver transplant at just 5 months old in October of 2019. 

After being discharged from the UCSF Benioff Children’s hospital, he and his mother, Lisa, stayed at Family House. Kingston was 2 ⅕ at the time, and Lisa, a single mother, had the help of her mother to stay and help out.

Lisa remembers Family House as “a beautiful and safe place for me to stay with my children while my son was returning to the hospital nearly every day for abs, ultrasounds, and GI visits but they absolutely spoiled us.”

At Family House, Lisa and her family were completely taken care of. They were fed healthy meals, the children were showered with gifts, and other families staying at Family House helped in any way they possibly could. 

Lisa’s home had sustained smoke damage from the California wildfires during that time. Family House granted them an extended stay while the home underwent repairs. This meant Kingston could remain somewhere healthy and safe and Lise was super grateful for the generosity, knowing her baby was being taken care of properly.

“I cannot stop gushing about Family House, and how they made us feel truly like a part of their family. Although it was the scariest time of my life, they made sure the holidays were special, that we were happy, that my boys were happy, and took a huge weight off my shoulders during that time. I could never thank them enough.” We’re happy to report that Kingston and his mom are now back in Sonoma County with a healthy liver. 

Family House is all about helping families through the toughest and scariest times of their lives. The physical and mental well-being of families that stay with us is our responsibility. All our staff and volunteers go above and beyond to make sure Family House is a home away from home for everyone who stays with us.