In October of 2021, our sweet little boy, Thomas, made an unexpected and very early arrival. We were rushed to McMaster Children’s Hospital from our local hospital after going into spontaneous labor where he was born at the gestational age of 24 weeks and 1 day. Very early on in Thomas’ NICU journey, he had a serious infection in his bowel that required emergency surgery and resulted in an ileostomy bag. Thomas continued to grow in the NICU where he fought through many infections, eye injections, and 4 surgeries all while learning how to breathe on his own.
The day after Thomas was born, our nurse asked if we would be interested in staying at the Ronald McDonald House as we lived over an hour away from the hospital. We didn’t really know much about the Ronald McDonald House, except that we could support it by getting a burger and fries on McHappy Day. We filled out the application forms and got a call from the house the next day saying there was a room available for us. We were both so exhausted from the eventful birth of our son and looked forward to taking a hot shower and sleeping on a real bed.
After signing in and getting a tour of the house, we were shown to our room. We sat down and had a good cry because we were incredibly thankful to have an amazing place to stay close to our baby. The Ronald McDonald House truly became our home away from home. All the volunteers were so kind, the meals were always delicious and they always made sure we had everything we needed.
After 203 days, Thomas was discharged from the NICU with another ostomy bag and a G-Tube. We were so excited to finally be taking our baby home, but we were sad to be leaving the Ronald McDonald House. It became a place for us to recharge so we could continue fighting alongside Thomas and a place of comfort when the long days in the hospital were too much to handle. We will forever be thankful for the Ronald McDonald House and really don’t know what we would’ve done without our home away from home!
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