Zubizareta Family Image

Zubizareta Family Story

Ellianna was born at 27 weeks on 5/23/2022 at 6:32 p.m. weighing 1 lb. 2 oz., staying 118 days in the NICU at Boise St Luke’s, and staying 108 days at the Ronald McDonald House.

For the start of the pregnancy, I was with St Al’s in Boise and Ellies pregnancy was normal and easy going for the most part, up until 20 weeks when we got the worst news we had ever received. We had gone in to have our anatomy scan done to see how she was growing and to make sure everything was okay. The tech that was checking the scans was very quiet and I could tell something was wrong, but I didn’t know what, and she wasn’t able to tell me. We couldn’t get all the scans done that we needed because of her positioning, so we were told that we would have to come back to try and have them redone. During our next appointment we had gone back to get the rest of the imaging done, while we were waiting, my OB at the time came to the room and sat my husband and I down and told us that Ellianna had low amniotic fluid, she was very constricted inside, that she wasn’t growing anymore, and that she had brain damage and would have no quality of life. We were then transferred to St Luke’s and I was put on strict bed rest in March 2022 with weekly high-risk appointments. Each appointment they noticed I was losing more fluid and that she wasn’t going to make it to birth.

I had Ellie on May 23, 2022. The day was like any day before, I was sitting out back with my son when I got a bad bloody nose. I had ended up checking my blood pressure and it was super high, so I decided to go into the ER. They hooked me up and saw that Ellianna’s heart was back flowing on itself, and she needed to come out immediately. I called my husband while he was working, and he came down to the hospital. I was rushed back to have an emergency C-Section at 27 weeks and 1 day, 13 weeks early. When she was born, I was told that I would only get one hour with her before she passed away. But that wasn’t the case! They ended up being able to intubate her and she was taken to the NICU. After she was born, we decided we would go home and try to visit her from our house because our son who was 4 at the time had no idea what was happening. That lasted for 2 weeks before we decided to go to the best place we could have at the time, the Ronald McDonald House.

Life was so much easier once we were at the House, yes it was still hard, but at least we were able to be together and closer to Ellie. Everything about the House was amazing; my son’s favorite part was definitely the toys and Foosball table. Dylan and Maren had the biggest impacts on our lives and made sure we had everything we could have ever needed. I think if it wasn’t for the Ronald McDonald House we wouldn’t have made it! Meeting other families that were going through similar things made it hurt a little less and made the bad days not so bad. I think the best part of the House was the kitchen and the main area where you could just sit and be.

The Ronald McDonald House has made the biggest impact and impression on my family’s life, because they were the family we had at that time, while ours was split. For that I am forever thankful! Thank you will never be enough for what they did for us.

~ Zubizareta Family | Nampa, ID | 108 Nights at the House

Help provide a home away from home for more families like the Zubizareta 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.