The Vaughan Family

“The very best part about RMHC-SK though, is the families themselves.”

“When people ask us about our experience at the Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon, it is hard to even know where to begin.

It is a horrible feeling to find out that your child will need to have lengthy hospital stays in a city that isn’t your own because of a health issue. A million things run through your mind; “Are they going to be ok?”, “How are we going to get through all of this”, “What are we going to do?”.

For us, this happened when I was 36 weeks pregnant. We had a regularly scheduled ultrasound appointment to check on Parker’s size because he was such a large baby and growing quickly! We were shocked when the doctor came out of nowhere and told us that she had some alarming news for us. She went on to explain that our baby had Tetralogy of Fallot (a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. It happens when a baby’s heart does not form correctly as the baby grows and develops in the mother’s womb during pregnancy). She continued to throw a ton of information at us. It was completely overwhelming. She warned us that, once he was born, he would need to stay for up to a week in the NICU in Saskatoon once he was born and that if he happened to be born in Swift Current (where we live), the air ambulance would need to fly him to Saskatoon to help him. This, of course, terrified us further. I began to panic, wondering how I was going to function thinking about possibly giving birth in Swift Current and having my baby taken from me to be flown to Saskatoon immediately. I expressed these concerns to my doctor. Then, she told us about the Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon.

To say that RMHC-SK is a “home away from home” is an understatement. My family and I have stayed there multiple times including, the three weeks leading up to Parker’s birth to ensure I gave birth close to JPCH, the five days after Parker was born that he needed to be in the ICU so that we were a 5 minute walk away from him and could see him on the drop of a dime, the entire MONTH that he was in the hospital before and after he had his heart repair surgery (we used the Saskatoon RMH as well as the Edmonton RMH), and countless appointments that Parker has had in Saskatoon since then.

Money is always a huge consideration when anything like this comes up of course and we were PANICKING. We got in contact with a social worker who set us up with RMH and we were so relieved. Ronald McDonald Charities only ask for $10/night when you stay at the house! It is so amazing! The house also has a “Home for Dinner” program that feeds the whole house supper three nights a week. They also provide breakfasts every morning and all the snacks/baking you could ever want all day, every day! That IMMEDIATELY lifted a HUGE weight off our shoulders. We were so grateful to be able to take advantage of such an amazing opportunity. When our baby boy was in the hospital, it was so amazing to not have to worry about the financial side of things and to be able to put all of our focus on him and making sure he got better. They accommodate as much as they can to make your experience as good as it possibly can be, considering what all of the families there are going through.

The very best part about RMHC-SK though, is the families themselves. There are people there having the worst day, week, month, year, etc. of their lives but everyone is so friendly. We have met such amazing people there who would literally give you the clothes off their backs just to put a smile on your face. The staff at RMHC-SK are the exact same way. They are so helpful, friendly and encouraging. We have met so many amazing people who have helped the bad days seem a little better and the good days even greater! The support system and the sense of community a very big features that don’t get emphasized enough!
I don’t even know how to describe how lucky we were to have been introduced to RMH. I could say so much more about it but there isn’t enough time in the world. We are SO grateful for everything that RMH provided us and got us through. It truly is a home away from home.”

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