Mother smiling down at her tiny baby with breathing tube in her nose inside a hospital room

The generosity of a mother benefits her own daughter

Trenton’s mom, Katie:

Our son, Trenton, was born very early, at 24 weeks. His twin sister – born four days earlier – did not survive, so those were both sad and hopeful days for our family. This is not how we expected parenthood to begin.

As soon as I walked into the Ronald McDonald Family Room next to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), I thought, “Wow! This is a great place to come, relax, and take your mind off things.” I didn’t have to leave the hospital, but I could be out of the sterile NICU environment and feel like I was in my own home.

NOTE: RMHC Austin depends on donations from people like you to support families like Katie’s. Click the red button to donate now.

In the Family Room we found hope in the words of other families who said, “Life will get better,” and soon we were saying those very words to new families as they came in with a frightened look in their eyes. Every person there is wishing they weren’t in that situation, but the Family Room provides a space for parents to connect, bond and make the best of the situation.

Without the Ronald McDonald Family Room we would have worn ourselves out staying at Trenton’s bedside for the 137 days he was there, going back and forth to our house and not taking time for ourselves. It was the best spot for healing, physically and mentally.

Thanks to the Ronald McDonald Family Room, our family made it through those challenging months and is now stronger than ever.

Katie Talkington,
Ronald McDonald Family Room at St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas on the campus of North Austin Medical Center


When Katie was in middle school, one of my favorite volunteer activities with the Junior League was cooking meals for the families at the Ronald McDonald House on 15th Street.

I was working for a cause that I dearly loved, but never in a million years thought that my family would need these services. Then when Trenton was born so early, and I learned that there was a Ronald McDonald Family Room at the hospital, I knew it would be a refuge and a place of comfort.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have been an early volunteer for families at the Ronald McDonald House and now to have received that same generosity and comfort through the Ronald McDonald Family Room.

Cindy Haegelin