John’s Journey

The Ronald McDonald House made a stressful and difficult situation so much easier.” – Jenna, RMHC Mom

John has never been to the Ronald McDonald House, but it has played a major role in his medical journey.

Jenna and Gary’s son, John, spent the first three weeks of his life in the hospital. On February 21, Jenna went to her scheduled prenatal appointment. Diagnosed with preeclampsia, she needed an emergency C-section. Her son John was born that day at 31 weeks, weighing 3 pounds 6 ounces.

John was immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit at WVU Medicine Children’s. Jenna remained in the hospital for the next five days until her blood pressure was under control, and then she and Gary stayed at Ronald McDonald House Morgantown.

“I was a first-time mom, had a traumatic labor and delivery and we lived an hour away,” said Jenna. “The Ronald McDonald House gave us so much peace of mind.”

Jenna and Gary spent every hour of the day with their son, giving him his feedings, baths and diaper changes. At night they could rest at the Ronald McDonald House. Originally, they were told that their son would be in the hospital at least six to seven weeks, but John exceeded all expectations. After one week, he no longer needed his c-pap machine, and after two weeks, his feeding tube was removed. He quickly adapted to regular feedings and was gaining weight and meeting all his milestones. He was home within three weeks.

The hospital staff told Jenna and Gary that being there with their son contributed to him doing so well and to being able to go home earlier than anticipated.

“We knew his care routine,” said Jenna. And because they could be there every step of the way, John got stronger and so did his parents, learning to manage their son’s care.

At RMHC Pittsburgh and Morgantown, we understand how important it is for families to be a part of their child’s medical care. We know that when families are together, everyone does better.