Meet our families
Some of the thousands of families we’ve helped have kindly decided to share their experiences.
The Nee Family, Co. Donegal
Ronald McDonald House was such a blessing to us while our baby Noah received life-saving treatment in Crumlin Children’s Hospital. We stayed at the house on two separate occasions while Noah underwent open-heart surgery for his complex cardiac condition. When Noah was born he was airlifted from Letterkenny to Crumlin. It was such a stressful and worrying time. You don’t really stop to think about the practicalities of being so swiftly uprooted from home to a hospital when you have such a critically ill baby.
Ronald McDonald House meant we didn’t have to worry about where we would stay and the associated financial burden. Ronald McDonald House was our home while we couldn’t be at home. The staff were so kind and supportive and it was a place where we could get some respite after long draining days in the hospital. Above everything, the House helped us to stay close together as a family. Not only were we able to be close to Noah, but our other three children were able to stay with us. That really helped to cushion the disruption to family life.
Being able to share a meal together and spend some quality time together meant so much. Our children loved the House! They loved the ice-cream fridge and the playroom. They made friends and were able to have some fun. We’re very grateful to Ronald McDonald House because they helped to limit the impact on family life for us at that time. And even through a very traumatic time, we have some lovely memories!
The O’Loughlin Family, Co. Wexford
On the 2nd of February 2017, we welcomed our 3rd child in Wexford General Hospital. However, 24 hours later Darragh began to show signs that he was not coping well. He was transferred to Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin via ambulance and was admitted to the Children’s Heart Centre. Over the next few hours, a Cardiologist came to explain that our son had a Complex Heart Defect. At 2 days old, he had his first investigative Cath Lab procedure and was scheduled for Open Heart Surgery at 6 days old. This surgery was an in-term surgery to give him some support to allow him to get bigger and stronger before he needed his Repair Surgery. We got a room in the Ronald McDonald House. It is difficult to put into words what a difference this made us.
We had 2 children at home, who could only come up for day visits prior to this, and although they wanted to come to visit, a hospital is not a place for healthy, active children. A room in the House meant that we could all stay together, sit down to a meal together, play in the playroom and visit the hospital. Our children called it the ‘Holiday House’, they loved to come to visit. It was a place, we could sit with our parents, family or friends who visited and drink a cup of tea, it was a place to come at the end of a long, stressful day in the Hospital and sit down and unwind and try to feel ‘normal’, a friendly chat, a quiet moment, a place to enjoy a healthy, home-cooked meal, a place to get a good night’s sleep to get up next day and go through the same, long hospital day. We went on to spend a further 7 weeks in ICU recovering surgery, extending our admission to 19 weeks. We have had 2 more admissions in Crumlin Hospital and both times have been lucky to get a room here. I could not have imagined spending all this time in Crumlin Hospital without our room in The Ronald McDonald House. We continue to support RMHC anytime we can through fundraising efforts. We have returned as a family to cook for current families staying there and have donated monies raised from a coffee morning our family organised. Thank you for your amazing work and I cannot express the difference it has made to our family.
The Noone Family, Co. Galway
When our daughter Madison was born in June 2016 we knew we would be spending the first few months of her life in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital.
One of our worries as someone coming to Dublin from Galway with no family in the area was where will we stay to be close to Madison. Then we learned of The Ronald McDonald House. Our prayers were answered.
The Ronald McDonald House isn’t just a room to sleep at night. It’s a wonderful place with amazing staff and volunteers who are always there to help in anyway they can. It’s somewhere to go when you need a break from the hospital environment but still close enough that you’re only a few minutes away if you’re needed.
When people hear that we’ve been here for nearly 9 months, they ask how we have remained so positive. The answer is and always will be because of the people we’ve met in the House along with the lifelong friends we’ve made. The nightly ritual of meeting in the dining area catching up with everyone and having a laugh over cups and cups of tea and coffee makes the next day a bit easier.
We really will never be able to thank everyone involved in the organisation for all they do. It truly is a wonderful place for so many families at such a hard time in our lives.
The Waters-Moran Family, Co. Mayo
Having a baby is a beautiful experience. Our 3rd child Shannon, was born in Co. Mayo on June 3rd 2016. While her birth was beautiful, it was also filled with fear, anxiety and total helplessness. Shannon was transferred to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Co Dublin straight after being born as she has a an extremely serious heart condition. Shortly after being discharged myself and my partner Pat made our way to Dublin. The nurses in the hospital informed us about The Ronald McDonald House. It truly is a Home from Home. Being so far away from our other two children, family and friends was an emotionally draining and very lonely time. Having The Ronald McDonald House has been an absolute life saver. We could have our other children up at weekends and family and friends could visit. The staff are so friendly and do an amazing job supporting you through the difficult times. The Families we met there gave us hope, help and friendship. We all support one another. Shannon is currently 8 months old and has never been home. Without The Ronald McDonald House, we would never have managed emotionally or financially. I really just can’t praise the staff enough. The House has such a relaxed environment, which is just what you need after a long tiring day in the hospital. Volunteers also come in daily to cook meals for all the families, such incredible, selfless people who like to help. The Ronald McDonald House will be top of our list for any fundraising we do in the future. Thank you so much guys.
Author : Maria Water-Moran
My name is Sarah Crawford. I am 8 years old. I live in Letterkenny Co Donegal. My brother Barry Crawford is 12 years old. Since he was born he must go to Crumlin hospital a lot. When he is in hospital my Mum stays with him and my Dad and I stay at home during the week. At the weekend when we go to Crumlin my dad and I stay in Ronald McDonald House. It is just like home
Because it is like a house with bedrooms, bathroom, and even your own kitchen. There is a playroom there and I met loads of others boys and girls there. People come in and make dinner for everyone. It was just like home because sometimes my mum would make dinner and I would help with the washing up. All the people that work there are really nice and funny. No one is ever lonely there. When Barry is feeling ok he is allowed over to The House for a few hours and I really like that. One Christmas Barry had to stay in hospital and we had to stay in The Ronald McDonald House. Jenny showed me where Santa came in through the roof because there is no chimney in the house. He came in through a trapdoor. He did leave me loads of presents outside my bedroom door. The best thing about it was we were all together as a family and that is what is so special.
Thank you everyone in Ronald McDonald House
Author : Sarah Crawford