The Wright Family
During my first doctor’s appointment at 10 weeks gestation, my fiancé and I found out that our baby would be born with an omphalocele, also known as an umbilical hernia. My doctor immediately referred me to High Risk Pregnancy OB unit at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, GA. Due to our baby’s birth defect, I was informed that immediately after his birth, he would be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Dwaine and Cynthia Willet Children’s Hospital.
We had our son on February 5, 2019 and I was discharged from the hospital three days later. I applied to stay at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire because I lived out of town and couldn’t bear the thought of being away from my baby while he remained in critical condition in the NICU. Shortly after submitting my family’s information, I received a phone call from the Ronald McDonald House – to my surprise, they had a room available for us.
While we were prepared for our son to receive treatment for his abdominal birth defect, we were not prepared to hear that his lungs were underdeveloped. Our son needed help breathing, going low flow oxygen to SiPAP, a machine that provides respiratory assistance to infants. He was also at risk of aspirating, or drawing fluid into his lungs, due to his rapid breathing. When our son was almost three months old, he worst happened – my baby aspirated. After a month on life support, the NICU team were concerned that he wouldn’t survive.
We got so much support from the nurses, medical team, and the Ronald McDonald House staff. During the weekly meetings, the House staff would ask how things were going at the hospital and if there was anything they could do for our family. We just wanted to be near our baby, and they made that possible for our family! We couldn’t thank them enough for the comfortable bed, the warm food, the helpful activities, and mostly the outpouring of love.
My family stayed in the Ronald McDonald House for just over 6 months (188 days total). My son is home now and is doing well. He’s 9 months old and super happy, getting bigger and stronger every day.