My name is Kayla Ibarra and my family called RMH London home for 10 weeks while our 22-week-old twin girls were in-hospital. Our girls, Luna and Ema, were given 0% chance of survival as it’s still believed babies do not survive before 24 weeks. We were told even with intervention the chances they’d survive were very small and close to none...
In September 2018, our twins were born prematurely at just 22 weeks weighing 1LB, 14oz. Ema and Luna spent 10 weeks at LHSC Children's Hospital and then 7 weeks in Windsor Regional Hospital. We officially went home at 115 days on oxygen and feeding tubes. One month after being at home, we were officially tube free and the twins are healthy and thriving.
When the twins were born, I was a stay at home mom to a 1.5-year-old. Noah had to move into the RMH London with me while my husband stayed in Windsor to work and support us. Being in the NICU with a young child was challenging. The twins were the first 22-week-old babies at LHSC, and we were told they had a very low chance of surviving. Every day was a challenge living in the fear of losing them.
We spent Thanksgiving, Halloween, Noah's 2nd birthday and just days away from spending Christmas in RMH. All those events were made special in the House. We loved the Illuminating of the House with Christmas lights, the Christmas store where we got the kids gifts at no fee to us, writing letters to Santa, eating cake on Noah’s birthday - the list goes on.
Ronald McDonald House was our safe place. After long and scary days at the hospital we could escape to RMH and knew the minute we walked through those doors that we were HOME. We would eat a warm meal, chat (& cry) with friends, and Noah would play. We felt safe, we felt at home.
We've been doing what we can to give back to RMHC-SWO. We walked the 2019 McDonald's Windsor Big Shoe Run in support of RMHC-SWO and raised $1,100, and just completed a toy drive for Christmas!
Thank you doesn't seem to do justice when talking about what donations to RMH mean. When you donate to RMH you are making it possible for families like mine to stay together. You are making it possible for a mother like me to be in the hospital with her babies while still taking care of her other children.
Sign up for our e-newsletter to read inspiring stories from our families, keep up to date with Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario news and stay in touch with your fellow RMH friends and supporters.