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Baby Reeana lays on her stomach and smiles inside a local Central Texas Hospital

The perfect gift – time

After struggling to get pregnant, Nicole and Juan Ramirez were overjoyed to find out they were expecting. Nicole’s pregnancy was going well until her doctor discovered at 26 weeks that her blood pressure was elevated. She was immediately transported from LaGrange TX to St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas (North Austin Medical Center) in Austin.

Nicole had pre-eclampsia, a very dangerous condition. The hospital didn’t want to take any chances and within a few hours of her arrival at the hospital in Austin, she had an emergency c-section. Sweet, tiny Reeanna was born 14 weeks early, weighing a mere one pound eleven ounces and about the length of a ruler. She was immediately whisked away to the NICU. When Nicole got to see her baby girl, she was so small she could fit inside two hands.

Nicole and Juan live in LaGrange TX, about 1.5 hours from the hospital and entirely too far from their baby. When the social worker at North Austin Medical Center told them about the Ronald McDonald Family Room, they were relieved. They now had a place to stay that kept them close to their daughter. The Family Room and sleep room #3 became their home for the next 102 days until Reeanna was strong enough to go home.

Nicole and Juan had everything they needed at the Family Room – a private bedroom, kitchen, laundry facilities, meals and snacks – so they could care for themselves while focusing on their baby. Most importantly, they were grateful to be right there for her. They believe being close and spending time with her helped her gain strength, grow and meet important milestones. And when Nicole transitioned to breastfeeding, she could be there around the clock which helped them bond. The Family Room gave them time, one of Nicole’s love languages, so they could give their daughter what she needed most – her parents.

Happy 1st Birthday, Reeanna!

Reeanna is a happy vibrant one-year-old! For her first birthday, Nicole and Juan wanted to give back to RMHC CTX for the support they received. They started a Facebook fundraiser with a $365 goal, or $1 for every day, so they could support families that continue to rely on RMHC CTX. They not only exceeded their goal but inspired friends and business colleagues to help RMHC CTX families too.