Kiawah resort gives 'five-star day' to McDonald house residents

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Staff members from TheSanctuary on Kiawah Island on Tuesday turnedthe Ronald McDonald House into a five-star hotel for families of children beingtreated at area hospitals.

So for a few hours, bell hops and room service and fine dining were part of the spa experience at Ronald McDonald House, which was a welcome change for Kaylee Lewis, who has lived there while her 3-month-old daughter is in the hospital.

Lewis' daughter was born prematurely with underdeveloped lungs.

"With the body massages, you know I could literally feel the tension just lifting off my body," Lewis said.

The annual event is designed to help families relax during a very stressful time - and it works.

It's called the Five-Star Day program put on by The Sanctuary to provide a luxury experience for families there.

"Our housekeeping team is here to take care of every inch of the house. We have our spa team that's here to do manicures, pedicures and massages," said Nicole Leaf, a marketing coordinator for the golf resort.

Lewis says having so much support is an incredible feeling.

"Our babies are our world. We don't even care about ourselves; we care about them more than we do ourselves, and this is why the Ronald McDonald House is here and Kiawah being here is just an amazing feeling," she said.

That's exactly why the resort has been doing it for the past six years.

"The joy that we get to see and the folks that are staying here at the house - just their smiles on their faces - being able to care and pamper the families, the staff's volunteers, anything we can do to put that smile on their face," said Leaf.

The Ronald McDonald House has 27 bedrooms where families stay while their children undergo extensive medical treatment. The home tries to give the families a normal life outside the hospital without the added cost of travel and hotels.