Malakai Erb

Before she had Malakai, Cindy had 5 miscarriages. As a 43-year-old woman, she didn’t think she would have any kids. When Cindy found out she was pregnant, she was shocked. “I am 43 and this is my first baby.” The first 2 ½ – 3 months, Cindy had a hemorrhage, and doctors questioned whether or not she would be able to carry her baby. At this point, doctors were suggesting that Cindy remove herself from any stressful or harmful environments as stress could make the hemorrhage worse. “They said I would have to stay off my feet, and I can’t be stressed – and I had a very stressful job. So I walked away from my career of 5 years to have this baby. And I don’t look back at all – I’m very thankful.” When Cindy and her boyfriend, Ryan, went in for another ultrasound, the doctors were completely shocked – the hemorrhage had completely healed itself.

“Then we went into another phase of problems: because of my age, there was a larger possibility that my baby could develop genetic disorders. They sent me to Parkview Regional Medical Center to get some genetic testing done. I let them do an ultrasound that would allow them to test for Down Syndrome or for things like that. They didn’t find anything, but then they suggested doing a test that required sticking a needle in the amniotic fluid and pulling it back out. You can have a miscarriage from doing that test, so refused to do it. I told them that I was going to have this baby regardless of any genetic disorder.”

Cindy ended up making it to 26 weeks before her water broke. She had no idea what was going on. It took her eight hours from the time her water broke to finally call the hospital and tell them what was going on. As soon as she got to the hospital in Wabash, she was immediately put onto an ambulance and transported to PRMC’s labor and delivery facility. She remembers the nurses telling her that she was not leaving PRMC until she had the baby. Cindy says, “It wasn’t until I got to labor and delivery in Fort Wayne that I fully realized what was going on.” It wasn’t until 4 weeks after coming to PRMC that she had her baby. The doctors were hoping to keep Malakai inside Cindy’s womb until the 34-week mark – Cindy gave birth to Malakai at 30 weeks and 2 days of her pregnancy.

I’m just so glad Malakai is here, because I didn’t even know if I would be able to have him. So having him here and going through all of this is a true blessing. And just seeing him every day just makes me very, very thankful. We are very thankful for this place! ”

“I knew about the Ronald McDonald House [before], but until it touches your life and you’re here and you know about all the great things it does for someone, you sort of forget about the donation boxes that sit around and take the little things in life for granted.”

“I only have great things to say about this place -all of the employees and volunteers are wonderful, and the new sheets and blankets on our beds are super nice. It’s amazing to see how many people come through here each week and to see how many people the Ronald McDonald House truly touches.” And as much as I am excited for the day that I finally get to go home, there’s a part of me that is going to miss this place. I mean, I lived here at the Ronald McDonald House for 47 days. This is truly a home-away-from-home, and it is so great that you are able to give us that.”

“This has been quite an experience for me and my family,” Cindy says. “Because of the Ronald McDonald House, it was so much easier and much less stressful. I can’t express my thanks for the love and support we received during our stay. I will be forever grateful for the Ronald McDonald House. God bless each one of you!”