At 20 weeks pregnant, we learned that Ruth has congenital CMV, a virus that would impact her. In order to give Ruth the best chances, we asked our medical team where we should seek a second opinion, and Cincinnati was the immediate response. We came for several visits while pregnant and chose to deliver and receive care here in order to provide Ruth with the best care from specialists and the best chance at survival.
During our fetal visits, the social workers were preparing us for a possible NICU stay and we were given information about Ronald McDonald House since we are from Owensboro, KY, which is about 3 hours away.
Ronald McDonald House has taken a huge burden, both financially and emotionally, off of our family. We spent 84 days in the NICU and having a place at the House allowed us to get a good night’s sleep, meals and some normalcy when our other daughter, Nora, came to visit.
Nora loved coming to visit Ruth, but she would only last so long in the NICU before she needed to burn some energy! The House provided activities at night (she loved the drumming!), the art room (which was her FAVORITE) and playgrounds to keep her occupied. We also loved that we could come back to House with Nora for a dinner as a family and a “normal” bedtime, which I really missed while I was gone from home and staying in the NICU with Ruth.
The staff and volunteers are outstanding and always greeted us with smiles and were so helpful! During our NICU stay, I spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s here in Cincinnati away from my family. The holiday spirit, meals and smiles they provided during those times away from the rest of my family kept me going.
Now that Ruth is coming back for outpatient visits, the House helps with these shorter stays and allows us to stay close to the hospital, which makes long days of appointments easier.
Ronald McDonald House has been a life changer for our family. Prior to Ruth being born, I didn’t know anything about Ronald McDonald House Charities. My family has now experienced firsthand the blessing that is this place.
Donors should know that their donations go towards making a family’s experience as positive as it can be under the circumstances and provide a comfortable and welcoming environment when everything about your world has been turned upside down.