Marc-André Raymond and Jean-François Gendron had a beautiful home, were passionate about their careers and seemed complete in many ways, but something was missing. They were ready to have a child, but knew it wouldn’t be easy. Living in Montréal, it took a long search for the couple to find their perfect surrogate 719 KM away in St. Thomas, Ontario.
It wasn’t far into the pregnancy when they discovered they would be proud parents to twins. While the news was exciting, it was also concerning, as the babies were experiencing Twin to Twin Syndrome. With one baby receiving too many nutrients, and the other not enough, they were told to expect an early delivery.
It was the morning of February 8th, 2016 when Marc-André received the call that the twins were on their way– he raced to call Jean-François at work, pack bags and book their flight to London. They made it to the hospital shortly after Béatrice and Éléonore R.Gendron entered the world, weighing just 2lb each. Considering the girls were delivered at 26 weeks and in the NICU, the couple would need to stay in London for some time. Ready to call a hotel, they were told about RMH London where they were able to get a bedroom right away.
The very first night at the House they experienced just why it is important for parents with sick kidsto stay close; they received a call late in the evening that something had happened with Béatrice and they needed to get there fast –only 165 steps from Children’s Hospital, they were able to make it to her in under 5 minutes.
Marc-André was able to stay at the House for the next 60 days while Jean-François worked back in Montréal, making the 3 hour flight back to London every weekend to be with his family. Having a home-away-from-home made it possible for both parents to play an active role in their daughters’ growth.
Marc-André even won a Kangaroo-A-Thon at LHSC providing 79 hours of skin to skin time with the girls in just 2 weeks. Not only were they thankful to be able to spend more time with the babies, but they were also grateful for the savings the House provided.
If staying at a hotel, the couple could have spent over $6,000 on room accommodations alone– at the House, only having to pay $10 a night made it affordable for the couple to stay close for as long as they needed.
Today, back home in Montréal, the family is getting ready to celebrate Béatrice and Élénore’s first birthday! Two healthy beautiful girls – you would never know they could once fit in the palm of your hand.
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