An Unexpected Surprise
When our newborn baby was facing weeks in the hospital, we found an unexpected surprise — the Ronald McDonald Family Room. As soon as we walked into this welcoming space at Dell Children’s Medical Center, we could take a deep breath, we could exhale. The Family Room gave us a reprieve from the intense NICU where are our son, Eamon, was being cared for. It was exactly what we needed to clear our minds.
At 33 weeks pregnant, we were not prepared for Eamon’s early arrival. We had traveled to Houston from Austin to spend Thanksgiving with our family. When Penney’s water broke, Eamon Damis entered the world on November 27, seven weeks early. And although he was healthy at 4 lb. 11 oz., Eamon had to stay in the hospital so he could get stronger before going home.
Naturally, we stayed by Eamon’s side and after five days in the Houston hospital, the NICU nurse told us that Eamon could be transported to Austin where he could continue his healing. Being closer to home was ideal and with Eamon safely nestled inside an incubator, we packed up and traveled back to Austin where Eamon spent the next three and a half weeks at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
The NICU is an intense space with incessant beeping, multitude of cords and a clinical, sterile environment. And as new parents, we were focused on Eamon in the NICU and our minds were never at rest. It’s a serious environment. But when we found refuge in the Ronald McDonald Family Room, we could relax, recharge, have lunch together and ease our minds for a bit. This comfortable haven refueled our strength so we could be strong for our baby.
We had no idea there was this oasis of calm close to the NICU. And for the entire time Eamon was in the hospital, we visited the Family Room to rest, to have lunch together and to talk with other families. It was an unexpected surprise that truly made a difference when we needed it most.