Rio, the Little Fighter

Rio, the Little Fighter

Cristian and Tessa spent three long years undergoing IVF treatments in the hopes of having a baby. After suffering two miscarriages, they were finally able to conceive their son, Rio – their “little fighter.”

Around 20 weeks of pregnancy, Tessa began to experience complications with her blood pressure and blood sugar. She also learned that her placenta was not delivering necessary nutrients to Rio, meaning that her baby was experiencing growth restriction.

Tessa was admitted to the hospital and started to undergo a round of steroid treatment to try to help Rio’s lungs develop in case he needed to be delivered early. When she began to experience pre-eclampsia, Tessa and Cristian were left with no choice but to deliver Rio prematurely.

At 25 weeks and three days of pregnancy, Rio was born. He weighed just 13 ounces and was only 10 inches long. Tessa and Cristian were scared and uncertain of what the future held for them and their baby.

Rio was admitted to the NICU as soon as he was born. Tessa and Cristian had not planned to have their baby in New Haven, and home was well over an hour away. They began to panic at the idea that they would return home without their son while he continued to undergo treatment so far away. That is when they learned about Ronald McDonald House – a place that would allow them to stay just across the street from the hospital so they could be with Rio at a moment’s notice.

“RMH not only gave us a place to stay, but peace of mind as we navigated a challenging situation.” - Tessa

“RMH has done so much for our family. They have supported us during the hardest of times. From the first day, they made us feel welcomed and cared for. They help us to celebrate our son’s milestones and always check in with us to see how we are doing. We’ve received gifts during the holidays, and even a birthday present on Rio’s due date.

RMH offers so much to families staying with them. There are meals provided for us and activities hosted in the House. We have loved being able to meet other families going through the same thing we are and making those connections has made us feel less alone.

Without a doubt, things would have been extremely different for us without the Ronald McDonald House. We would have been trying to commute over two hours a day to visit our son. We would not have been able to be as present, our stress and anxiety levels would have been through the roof, and we would have been exhausted.

RMH not only gave us a place to stay, but peace of mind as we navigated a challenging situation. We are truly grateful for RMH and this facility will forever be in our hearts as a place that lifted us up during a difficult time.”

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