“You want to be near your baby and the Ronald McDonald House allows for that.” – Mary, RMHC Mom
Mary and Jason cannot imagine the Ronald McDonald House not being there for the first three weeks of their son Cole’s life. It was their center of comfort and support. It was the place that kept them close to their son.
On December 20th, Cole was born nearly three weeks early. He weighed 3 lbs. 15 ounces. He was small but doing well. Then, his blood sugar became alarmingly high. Immediately, he was airlifted 2.5 hours from home to WVU Medicine Children’s in Morgantown. Mary was eager to be with her son, but due to having a c-section, she could not join him until the next day.
“I didn’t want him to feel any anxiety from me not being there,” said Mary.
Diagnosed with the rare condition, neonatal diabetes, Cole spent the next 17 days in the hospital. Every day, Mary walked to the hospital from the Ronald McDonald House to be with him. Jason was with them until he needed to return to work.
“The Ronald McDonald House was so close, and it was so good to get out and walk,” said Mary.
Returning each day from the hospital, Mary found her room at the House to be exactly what she needed to rest and recharge. There were also hot meals each day and a cart at the front door filled with donations of toiletries, snacks, toys, quilts and any other item a family may need.
“I can’t imagine the cost of staying in a hotel and the expense of food during those three weeks,” said Mary.
Though Cole’s first Christmas was in the hospital, Mary and Jason were so grateful for how the Ronald McDonald House made the holiday special for their family.
“It made it feel like home,” said Mary. “We wanted Christmas with our son and to be home but in light of the events, this was a beautiful second best.”
The family of three is now home. Cole is gaining weight and his blood sugar remains steady. His medical care is closer to home.
“We had a rough start, and it was a bit scary, but now he is doing phenomenal,” Mary said proudly of her son.