Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ronald McDonald House Charities® South Central Ontario About Us

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The Everets Family

My name is Jessica, my husband is Nick, and along with daughters Jaclyne and Ally, we are the Everets family. In 2022, we spent 147 nights – that’s five months – at RMHC SCO while our daughter Ally received lifesaving care in the NICU at McMaster Children’s hospital. 
If you met her today, you would see that Ally is a happy, curious, healthy baby, but there was a time when her future was uncertain. While I was pregnant, we learned that our baby had a severe growth restriction; she was measuring below the first percentile for what her gestational weight should be. We were advised that she probably would not survive, and if she did, she would likely be premature, tiny, and would require a lengthy stay in the NICU.

Sure enough, our feisty girl came into this world 10 weeks early, weighing just 1.3 lbs (610grams). And while we knew she would have to stay in the NICU at McMaster for a while, we had no idea what the following 21 weeks would entail. 

Our lives were put on hold for five months. We rearranged nearly every aspect of our lives to maximize our time with Ally, and our every waking moment revolved around doing whatever we could to get her well and get her home in Hagersville. Because of the type of c-section I had, I was advised not to drive for a few weeks after her birth. And even once I had healed, with our hometown being nearly 50km from McMaster, we would have been spending at least an hour and a half daily just on travel, at a time when every second with Ally was precious. Our social worker suggested RMHC SCO, and I'm so glad she did.

Of course, I'd heard of Ronald McDonald House Charities - I even had friends who had stayed at RHMC SCO - but I hadn't the slightest idea of just how much RMHC did for their families.
Imagine waking up in a comfortable bed with a hot breakfast mere steps away and warm, supportive staff greeting you, all in some of the most difficult days of your life. We stayed in beautiful guest rooms less than a 10-minute walking distance to McMaster. It was always nice coming “home” to a friendly face after a long day at the hospital. No detail was missed - we had hot meals every day, umbrellas for rainy walks to the hospital, movie nights, holiday celebrations, and even fun events like national donut day. Every time my step daughter, Jaclyne came to see us, RMHCSCO made her visit special. Whether it was a teddy bear or the house movie theatre all to herself, she loved visiting us there. RMHCSCO took unbelievable care of every family staying in the house.
One of Ally’s nurses once told me that if we hadn’t been at Ally’s bedside everyday, her NICU stay would have been much longer. We were only able to be there everyday because of RMHC SCO. 

Taking care of a sick child can be exhausting and emotionally draining, but staying at RMHC SCO makes the experience significantly easier. Even though our days were challenging and at times overwhelming, being at RMHCSCO was always comforting. I am forever grateful that they took care of us so we could take care of Ally.

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