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Lyric sits and entertains her baby brother lyric in a hospital bed

A Difficult Journey Made a Little Easier – By Claire Read

At three days old, my son Bram was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect (CHD) and it was determined he would need open heart surgery. At the time, we didn’t know anything about CHD or the journey our little warrior was about to take. All we knew was we were scared.

After Bram finally weighed 9 pounds, his surgery was scheduled. We had to be at Dell Children’s Medical Center at 6 am on a cold November morning. We live an hour away and knew we would have to fight Austin traffic so we planned to leave our home at 4 am. And that’s when Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas offered their help. The hospital staff made arrangements with RMHC CTX so we could stay there the night before Bram’s surgery and up until he was discharged. No driving at 4 am or traveling to and from our home. We would be right across the street from him.

RMHC CTX welcomed my family with open arms. They provided everything we needed to get through this difficult time. It was truly a home-away-from-home for my family including my grandma who stayed with us so she could watch our 4-year old daughter, Lyric, while we were at the hospital. They took care of us by providing meals and a community of support. And being at the House helped me understand my son’s condition a little more as I met other parents going through similar situations.
After spending long hours at the hospital with Bram, my husband I would take turns going back to RMHC CTX to kiss our daughter goodnight. Being so close to not only our newborn son but also our daughter made a world of difference.

Bram was discharged after being in the hospital for six days. RMHC CTX made a huge difference to our family. Their little bit of extra love, hope, support and guidance during this especially tough time made this difficult journey a little easier to endure. I am truly grateful.