Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwestern Ontario

Our son was born at 9:06pm on June 26th, 2015. We got to the hospital, after my wife was induced that morning, at 8pm. At 7pm the following night she hadn’t dilated since then and the hospital decided it was time for an emergency C-section. I remember joking that this boy was far too comfortable and we’d have to dig him out. This was it. This was the culmination of early miscarriages and the months of nothing. A yearlong effort to make our son.

When our son came out I heard a little cough. Then nothing. The mid-wife came to us and told us that our son just had some trouble getting started and they would bring him to us shortly and then she walked away. After what felt like 5 minutes of complete silence, my wife asked the room nurse if it was a boy or a girl. There was more silence. No one knew if our baby was male or female. That’s when we knew there was something wrong. Eventually a nurse in the distance did say it was a boy. We were told they would be bringing him to us shortly, but he had some facial disfigurements, fused hands and club feet. They didn’t know what else was wrong with him, but there may be more. They did bring him to us briefly, but then took him away again. After calling relatives, my wife returned to the recovery room. They explained to us that our son was hooked up to every machine in the hospital. We could see him, they just didn’t know when. Shortly after our OB-GYN came out, with tears in her eyes she said that our son was completely on his own and we could see him at any time.

Since our son was born on a Friday and had stable vitals, it was not until Monday that we had answers. It was during that Monday’s rounds meeting that a geneticist explained to us that our son likely had Apert Syndrome. At the time we did not know how long we would be in the hospital, so we were put up at Ronald McDonald House of Southwestern Ontario. Unfamiliar with the organization, I was completely unprepared for what they offered. My wife was still in hospital, so I checked us in. I was completely overwhelmed. At our weakest, here was a bed for us, food for us, a diaper bag with provisions and a handmade quilt (that our son still adores to this day). They had everything taken care of so all we needed to do was care for our son.

We cannot thank them enough for their generosity. Our son is now a strong, fiercely independent, 4 year old and has endured 5 surgeries. He will likely have 20-50 more. We will always give back to Ronald McDonald House. For our son’s first birthday, in lieu of presents, we asked for supplies for Ronald McDonald House and delivered them proudly. We also donate our time on McHappy Day at our local McDonald’s. A yearly tradition my family will continue forever.

- Jeff

Learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwestern Ontario