Our twin boys were born 9 weeks early, which brought a lot of uncertainty and anxiety to my husband and I. A hospital social worker at Windsor Regional Hospital had recommended we stay at the Ronald McDonald House just one floor above the NICU. My husband and I were a little hesitant at first to stay “in the hospital” however, RMH felt nothing like that— it was home. RMH Windsor became our home for 43 nights, offering us a comfortable place to sleep, home-cooked meals and baked goods, bottomless coffee, friendly faces, and most importantly the ability to be close to our sons.
The routine of having two premature babies needing undivided care in the NICU can get emotionally and physically taxing. Walking into the RMH, we were always greeted with a smile by staff and volunteers who had a way of respecting my privacy, but at the same time being that listening ear when we needed it.
I appreciated the balance of this more than I can translate into words.
Having other moms at the home in the same situation and schedule made this journey more comforting to go through, and at times (believe it or not) even enjoyable! Mealtime was always something my husband and I looked forward to, an opportunity to relax, socialize with other families, and meet some amazing volunteers. Not having to think about meals or spend time cooking was a huge relief and we’ll never forget about the endless baked goods— the amount of late-night, over-tired laughs, and number of cookies we ate are memories we're grateful to look back on.
Our boys progressed delightfully in the NICU and I know in my heart it was because I was able to be so close and available 24/7 to them throughout their stay. RMH took a weight off our backs when we needed it most and we can’t wait to one day show them what a wonderful place it is.
My family knows first-hand that keeping families close during difficult times is critical to a child’s progress and a parent's peace of mind - knowing I could be with them in minutes after receiving a call was a blessing I will never take for granted. None of what my husband and I were fortunate to experience at RMHC-SWO would have been possible without the community, donations, volunteers, and staff members. From a mother who is so thankful to have her two greatest gifts with her this holiday season, thank you for supporting my family's "home-away-from-home".
- The Iannicello Family
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