Married in 2011, Brittany and Mike Caravaggio had met in high school, fallen in love and were the epitome of what we like to call high school sweethearts. After their wedding, the next step for these newlyweds would be starting a family, which proved to be more difficult than they thought. After months of trying to conceive their first child, the couple was thrilled to find out Brittany was pregnant and would give birth to a healthy, happy baby boy named Mason. With his blue eyes and blonde hair, the couple thought they had enough work cut out for them and were in no rush for baby number two—but they were going to get a big surprise!
When Mason was just 5 months old, Brittany and Mike were both shocked, but excited, to find out they had a second child on the way. Starting a family was something they had been looking forward to, after all they had been together for a total of 9 years — they just thought they would have more time to prepare for baby number two!
Brittany's second pregnancy was going well, until Thanksgiving when she was just 29 weeks and started going into labour. The doctors at her local hospital in Kincardine were able to stop the labour and send Brittany back home expecting not to see her again until she was at full term. However, the labour pains continued to return, and after the third visit to the local hospital Brittany was sent to London Health Sciences Centre, where she was admitted and would stay until baby Hayden was ready. Little Hayden would enter the world 8 weeks early on November 3rd 2013 , one day before brother Mason's first birthday on November 4th , weighing just 3.15 lb.
A healthy, but tiny baby, Hayden would have to stay in the hospital while he gained his strength. However, Brittany would be discharged the day after he was born, leaving her, Mike and Mason in need of a place close by where they could stay together. They were unaware of the Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario located right next to London Health Sciences Centre and it wasn't until Mike was driving to the hospital that he saw the Ronald McDonald House logo on the courtyard fence and knew there was a home for his family. "I went into the Ronald McDonald House and talked with the Family Services Coordinator who let me know that Brittany, Mason and I could stay together at the House while Hayden was in the hospital," Mike said. "I couldn't stop telling Brittany about how perfect the place was for us. We were thrilled we could all stay together and still have our parents drive down to help us with Mason."
The Caravaggio family has been staying at the House since Hayden was born, for about a month now, and it has truly become a place of comfort. Mason, who could barely walk when they arrived, has had more fun than ever learning how to run through the hallways, playing in the play room and exploring every part of the big, beautiful House. "He used to be shy" Brittany advises, "but you would never know it now, he is so comfortable meeting new people." While Mason has been able to stay with mommy and daddy at the House, Hayden has been gaining strength and getting ready to return home to Kincardine. The family doesn't know what they would have done without this "home away from home" and plan on staying involved with the House through the Dinner at Our House program once they become more settled back home. As much as they have been thankful to stay here, the family is ready to return to Kincardine once Hayden is eating on his own and hope to be home for the holidays!
Our three programs, RMH London, RMH Windsor and the RM Family Room London were able to provide supportive services to 4,517 families with sick kids.
RMHC-SWO provided 15,990 nights of comfort to families keeping them close to their child’s specialized medical care.
Each night a family stays close at RMH it is estimated they save $183 on accommodations, meals and other home comforts.
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