Baby Airabella

Before my stay at the Ronald McDonald House, my living situation wasn’t the most stable. I had just moved back up from Florida after being homeless and was trying to get on my feet back in New York. I was staying at a family shelter upstate, and my fiancé and father of my child is in jail.

Due to the stressful situation, I had gone into early labor at only 34 weeks and went to Kingston Hospital, from which they transferred me to Westchester Medical Center. Due to going out of the county and having a child, I had lost my housing placement and DSS had closed my case.

After my daughter Arabella was born, and I was soon to be released from the hospital, I filled out an application for an organization that I had never heard of, the Ronald McDonald House. Within one day, I had gotten accepted and as soon as I left the hospital, I was welcomed into the house.

The staff were very kind and gave me a tour of the house and had gotten me anything I needed to make my stay more comfortable. The house itself was astonishing and was the nicest place I’ve stayed at in a long time. Every day I’d been there, there was at least 2 meals cooked by volunteers or sometimes a chef and it was always delicious and I was very thankful, especially since I had no car and there weren’t any grocery stores in walking distance.

As far as the NICU in which my daughter was staying at, she was healthy other than having bradycardia, which was what kept her so long. By staying at the RMH, I was able to go to see her multiple times a day and was able to go to all of her feedings and take part in her care, which as a first-time mother was a great learning experience for me. I was thankful to be so close to her, especially since she was all I had due to my family being two hours away and not able to visit me much at all.

By being close to the hospital, I was able to build a connection to my daughter and care for her. The RMH gave support not only with a place to stay but the staff members were very supportive of the situation going on and I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for me. It meant so much to be able to be so close to my daughter when she was first born.

When my month given was eventually up, they kindly extended my stay and were able to work with me and end my stay the day my daughter went home. When my daughter was being discharged a little over a month later, I was happy to be moving on with my life but at the same time will always miss the RMH and the staff as it was a blessing to be a part of.

Me and my baby are now doing good and we have a place of our own and I thank God I was lucky enough to have stayed there as they have made a big impact on my family.