For Bennett and his family, our House has been a place of comfort during the most stressful time in their lives more than once. Lindsay, Bennett’s mom, shares their story:

“Bennett was diagnosed with a heart defect while I was 20 weeks pregnant with him. I had to relocate a few weeks before he was born so we could be within a mile of Cincinnati Children’s after delivery. His original diagnosis at birth was Aortic Stenosis and they performed a balloon procedure the day after he was born, July 11, 2017. This worked for about a month and we were back at Cincinnati Children’s in September and stayed for about 5 months. During that time, Bennett had 3 open heart surgeries. The first known as the Ross procedure to help with the pressures in his heart. This did not go well, and we were back in the OR about a week later to undergo the Norwood, which is the first open heart surgery of three using just one side of the heart. Also known as a single ventricle or HLHS. We left Cincinnati in January of 2018 and Bennett has done great! We came back for the third surgery (the Fontan) on February 17, 2021 and it has been a bumpy ride, but Bennett has felt so loved since we have been here at the House.

Our friends who also have another little heart warrior told us about the House. It definitely changed our stay for the better. We stayed in the House back in 2017/2018 with our first stay for about 5 months and it was SUPER helpful! We felt very loved and shocked at how much the House does for their families. It was truly a blessing then and one to us now.

When we were here in 2017, we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at the House and they did a great job of making it feel like “home.” Bennett’s first Christmas was spent in the CICU and Ronald McDonald House made sure that we/he felt all the Christmas spirit! Since we didn’t have a lot of time to leave the hospital let alone to shop or do the usual holiday planning/shopping we just didn’t plan on doing much for Christmas. However, the House supplied us with gifts and had an unbelievable Christmas party! This is something that was truly special to us.

Because of all the kind people that donate to Ronald McDonald House, it made a difference in our son’s first Christmas! Even though he won’t remember it, we will, and it definitely is something I will never forget!

Now, having a toddler in the hospital for three plus weeks, it’s been hard to constantly keep him entertained and there is only so much Paw Patrol I can watch. The donations made to the House have been a HUGE help in lifting his spirits and keeping his muscles moving. Being in the CICU for three weeks now, he hasn’t moved too much, but with new and exciting things to do, it has definitely motivated him to get out of bed and play. The meal program has also been a huge blessing to my husband and I. Hot, delicious meals twice a day for free?! That’s incredible! We feel truly grateful for this House and the joy it has brought our family over the years. Thank you so much for everything!”

You can help families like Bennett’s stay together, just steps away from the critical care they need with a gift today. 

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