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“I didn’t want to leave my baby’s side”

After losing two babies in two years, I was not going to leave my newborn daughter’s side. I stayed close to her because of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas.

Elena was a micro-preemie. Born at 24 weeks and 5 days, she weighed a mere 1 pound 5 ounces. I wanted to be with her every moment as she got stronger in the hospital. The Ronald McDonald Family Rooms kept me close to her and right by her side.

My family and I found our “home-away-from-home” at the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. When Elena was born, we stayed at the Seton Medical Center Family Room. And when she was transferred to Dell Children’s Medical Center, we were fortunate to stay at that Family Room too.

We slept, had meals and snacks and our 8 year old daughter, Cadence, had activities to keep her busy. We had all the comforts of home so we could focus on Elena while staying by her side.  We were surrounded by incredible volunteers and staff. And we met other families that were going through similar experiences. It was helpful to seek their advice. It brought us comfort. The Ronald McDonald Family Room made this possible.

It’s because of wonderful friends like our community that we were able to stay close to Elena as she got stronger. We truly believe being right by her side helped her heal and finally come home. We are forever grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas for helping our family.

Ana Hernandez

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