When our daughter Brooklyn was born at 38 weeks gestation and weighing 8lbs 9oz. – everything seemed perfect. She didn’t want to latch right away, which our nurses said happened sometimes, so we didn’t worry about it and gave her some breast milk with a syringe. When Brooklyn was about 9 hours old her nurse noticed her cry and asked some questions. The nurse didn’t like the sound of her cry and checked her oxygen. It was determined Brooklyn was in respiratory distress. She was rushed to the nursery and then shortly after, transferred to the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) at Parkview Regional Medical Center. The Samaritan showed up and took our baby girl to Fort Wayne at 12 hours old. It was so much to process in a short amount of time. We never thought we would be in the NICU. We were prepared to take our baby girl home after a short hospital stay. She was a term baby and it never crossed our minds we would end up in the NICU. I was terrified.
Thankfully, I was discharged an hour after Brooklyn. We didn’t even know about the Ronald McDonald House, so we had already booked a hotel for two nights; after those two days, we spent the rest of our time at the Ronald McDonald House.
X-Rays confirmed Brooklyn had developed pneumonia. We planned for a 7-10 day hospital stay for antibiotics, but when the antibiotics were completed, Brooklyn still wasn’t eating well enough to be sent home. After about 3.5 weeks in the NICU with no progress, ENT came to evaluate her airway.
Doctors discovered a small mass on her vocal cords which didn’t allow them to close properly. Our sweet girl had to undergo surgery; thankfully all went smoothly.
After nearly a month in the hospital, we were finally able to bring our little girl home for the first time! She’s now almost a year and a half and extremely healthy and thriving! I am beyond thankful for the Ronald McDonald House. We live about 45 minutes from Fort
Wayne, so having a place to stay for those four weeks was amazing. The Ronald McDonald House was literally my home away from home while our daughter recovered upstairs. Brooklyn’s dad had to return to work, so I always looked forward to pizza nights on Friday because it was pizza, and it meant Garrett would
be over after work to spend the weekend with us. I know while Garrett and I were staying at the Ronald McDonald House, we appreciated a nice, home-cooked meal so much. It was so nice to get out of the NICU, have other families to talk to, and be able to just get away from it all.
We shed many tears in the Ronald McDonald House, happy and sad. I will always be grateful for them. Now, we love providing meals for the current families at the Ronald McDonald House because we know how it feels to be there and that a nice, home cooked meal always helps. We are extremely blessed to have a very healthy baby thanks to the team at PRMC NICU. And I’m so thankful for everyone at the Ronald McDonald House.