Christin and Kenneth Family Image

Christin and Kenneth’s Family Story

Our baby, Charlotte, was born with gastrointestinal complications that affected her ability to eat and digest food. She was treated at the hospital where she was born but as more symptoms emerged, we learned she needed specialized care. She was flown to the NICU at EIRMC shortly after her birth where she could best be treated.

We were connected with the Ronald McDonald Family Room at EIRMC where the staff lovingly welcomed us. We were taken aback by the services they so generously provided without cost. We were given a beautiful, sunlit bedroom to call our own. We had everything we needed – showers, a laundry room, a family room, a kitchen, homemade meals, snacks, internet and areas to work. I had a place to comfortably stay while I recovered from my C-section and be close to our baby. The NICU was just a walk down the hall from the Ronald McDonald Family Room. We could walk over any time of day to feed her and bond with her. We were relieved to avoid a long drive on the winter roads every day. It afforded us the ability to be present as our baby’s medical team made their rounds each morning.

Though things didn’t go as we expected, the staff at the Ronald McDonald Family Room were comforting and compassionate. The Family Room was our haven and home away from home. My parents came from out of state to meet our baby and were able to visit us at the Family Room. The thoughtfulness of the staff made us feel like we could still celebrate our baby’s birth as a family. They got chips and salsa, fruit and veggie trays, and sandwiches for us to have a Super Bowl dinner together in the family room on one of the first few nights we were there. It helped dull the sting of reality at that time. When our family returned home, they had peace of mind knowing we were in good hands at the Ronald McDonald Family Room.

We met other couples staying at the Ronald McDonald Family Room who also had babies in the NICU and parents visiting for a meal or a moment of reprieve while their child was hospitalized elsewhere in EIRMC. We exchanged smiles and words of encouragement. Siblings came down with their parents to choose toys or games from the Ronald McDonald Family Room.

Charlotte eventually had a gastrostomy tube placed. When she was discharged from the NICU the Family Room staff gifted us with items for our baby and groceries to ease our transition home. That was a lifesaver as we adapted to feeding Charlotte through her G-tube.

Charlotte is now a happy six-month-old girl. She receives her nutrition through her G-tube while she works hard at learning to eat with the help of home healthcare providers. Charlotte has since had additional procedures and appointments and we continue to be blessed by the Ronald McDonald Family Room. We’ve popped in to grab lunch during Charlotte’s appointments and are always warmly welcomed. We are forever grateful for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho during a bittersweet time. Thank you!

~ Christin and Kenneth | Pocatello, ID | 30 Days at the Family Room

Help provide a home away from home for more families like Christin and Kenneth's family!

For only $10, you can give families of ill or injured children a home away from home by providing a night stay at the Idaho Ronald McDonald House. Families are asked to contribute $10 per night, but no family is ever turned away because they cannot pay.