Within 6 hours we were transferred to a different hospital, where a cardiac team discovered a hole in Ethan’s heart that needed immediate repair.
Ethan underwent his first open heart surgery when he was only a day and a half old.
The surgery went well, but doctors were quick to alert us that the road to recovery would be long. We spent our first 11 nights on a stiff couch under baby blankets at the hospital trying to figure out this new way of life.
We were so relieved when we were told there was a room at the Ronald McDonald House. A queen-sized bed never sounded so good! The house is right across from the hospital, which put us at ease because we didn’t have to go far from our baby. After a 21-night stay at the house, Ethan was discharged from the hospital. It was bittersweet, but it was finally time to start this new parenting thing on our own!
We were only home 12 days before being re-admitted.
Ethan’s veins were starting to narrow and his breathing was worsening. Luckily, we were able to get a room at Ronald McDonald House right away and they welcomed us back with open arms. This time we stayed for 3 ½ weeks. The cardiac team performed a balloon procedure to give Ethan time to heal from the first open-heart surgery, prior to returning in a month for his next open-heart surgery.
Round 3 of hospital stays began on November 1st. At this point, we already had Ronald
McDonald House on speed dial and, amazingly, they had a room for us that night. We figured Ethan would have surgery, need a few weeks for recovery, and that we would be home for Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. With this hospital stay, came the rhinovirus. In layman’s terms, just a common cold, but for Ethan it meant no surgery until he was cleared. We ended up spending Ethan’s first Thanksgiving and first Christmas at Ronald McDonald House.
Ronald McDonald House helped make our biggest nightmare more of a hurdle. Each stay, we were consistently provided with a warm meal, a comfy bed, and a private bathroom to take a hot shower. Whatever we needed was only a request away, and at no cost, thanks to the generosity of others. These little things made a huge difference in our time of need.
For all of this and more, we say, THANK YOU! We will always hold a special place in our hearts for Ronald McDonald House!”
– Julie & Philip, Ethan’s Parents
Every day, families face the challenge of having a child in the hospital, and your generosity helps Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts keep them together. Learn more about our programs and join our community of supporters.