The Thomas Family
My son Christian was born ten weeks early via emergency C-Section on February 15, 2019. He stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for almost two and a half months. My family lives almost an hour and a half away from the hospital, and I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my child alone. That’s when my nurse mentioned the Ronald McDonald House; they told me it was like a little hotel inside of the hospital, so I could stay close by my child.
When I first walked in, everyone was so welcoming. Everyone was smiling and asking how I was doing – they had great hospitality. I couldn’t even take in everything that was going on – it looked so amazing. It felt warm and loving just like a home. The Ronald McDonald House literally saved me from leaving my premature child alone and helped feed me and my other children every day. It was a short walk from my son’s room to my room, and I spent most days in [Christian’s] NICU room.
The Comfort Cart came around with snacks at least twice a day. I didn’t have the funds to eat at the cafeteria every day, so without the Ronald McDonald House I don’t know what I would have eaten. They had breakfast and homemade dinners every single day. And, I loved the fact that my other children could come and stay with me while I was there. The Ronald McDonald House helps you feel a little less stressed even when your world is falling apart because you’re literally living inside a hospital while your child is fighting for his life.
Going through this was such a stressful time, but seeing Christian hit every milestone was such a great feeling. Christian’s milestones were a little different than a full term child. We celebrated the day he came off the CPAP to normal oxygen, when he got to be put into a normal crib, and when he got to have his first bottle. Most of all, we celebrated the day he finally got to come home. Being a NICU mom is hard, but thanks to the Ronald McDonald House I had a bed to sleep in at night, a place to shower, and food in my stomach daily. I would recommend the Ronald McDonald House to anyone.