After living in our House for 130 nights, Tabatha was able to take her daughter, Emma, HOME! Here is what Tabatha had to say about her time with us:

“When I was 20-weeks pregnant, we found out that Emma had only formed one kidney in utero and it was multi-cystic and not functioning. I had very low amniotic fluid. We were referred to Cincinnati Children’s for a research study for amnio-infusions. We would travel from Urbana, Ohio every Friday to the Cincinnati to have these procedures done in hopes that Emma’s lungs would develop in utero.

At 29 weeks, one of the amnio-infusions caused me to have a placenta abruption and we had to stop them. I was in the hospital for a week. At that point, I was told I could not leave Cincinnati because Emma could come at any point. She needed to be delivered in Cincinnati and would need to be in the NICU for six to nine months of her life. I tried to get into Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House, but there was a 30-day waitlist. My mother and I stayed at a local hotel until the House was open for us on 3/8/19. I went into labor that next morning at the House.

When Emma was born, she could not breathe on her own and had to be on a ventilator. She had to have surgery when she was five days old to start dialysis as she was in renal failure. Emma was in the NICU for 116 days and in the hospital for a total of 129 days. During that entire time, I stayed right next door to her at the Ronald McDonald House.

The House was such a blessing to our family. I was able to get a decent night’s sleep while my baby was next door. I would wake up, get coffee and a snack from the House and walk over to my baby every day. I always stayed all day until night time, leaving to go to the House for meals or to do laundry. I ate all of my meals at the House and always had snacks. I loved the salad bar and the snack items I could take over to the hospital to snack on while I was with Emma all day. It was such a huge relief not to worry about how I would pay for the food or how I would pay to stay there. Emma’s dad had to keep working and he would travel from Urbana every weekend and stay in the House to be close to our daughter.

One night, when Emma was just three weeks old, the NICU called me because Emma coded. I was able to run to the hospital and get to her room within minutes because I was so close to her by staying at the House.

The House always made me feel like family. We would get quilts and gifts in our mailbox for Emma or for me for Mother’s Day. It was so nice to feel like I had a home away from home while going through such a traumatic event in our life.

Emma will need to have a kidney transplant and we will need the House again. We love the House and what they offer for families like ours during a hard time. We love the House! Thank you for all that you do. “


-Tabatha, Emma’s mom

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