Elena was born on the 15th of September 5lbs 14oz and perfectly healthy. After two admissions to hospital with bronchiolitis, we thought she was on the mend however she contracted RSV. Elena was only feeding for a few seconds and becoming very breathless, so we knew she needed medical attention. She was admitted to Crosshouse Children’s ward where she was fitted with a nasal gastric tube and oxygen. She seemed to be doing well however on her second day there, she had deteriorated so significantly there was a plan made for her to be transferred to Royal Childrens Hospital Glasgow as it was likely she would have to be intubated. We were in total shock and felt very helpless at this stage. Thanks to the incredible Scots Star ambulance crew, she was transferred to Glasgow safely where she was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit.
Coming to the House
We arrived around 10pm the staff advised that there is a charity run accommodation called Ronald McDonald house however it was full so we would be put up in a hotel for the night. We were so shocked that these facilities were available to families in their time of need. The next day we checked into Ronald McDonald House. The house was beautifully decorated for Halloween and the staff were extremely welcoming. Elena had to be intubated and was on the ventilator for 6 days. During this time, the staff were incredible at keeping us informed and included in Elena’s care. They also encouraged us to rest and provided me with a breast pump to take to RMHG.
Ronald McDonald also put a fridge in our room to store my breast milk which I thought was a very thoughtful touch. Being so near to the hospital was very handy as I could express and provide the staff with my milk to freeze for when Elena was well enough to feed through her nasal gastric tube. It was also very comforting to know she was in the safest hands, and we could be there in as little as 5 minutes if we wanted to see her.
During Elena’s time in intensive care, we had our three-year-old Daughter Isabella stay with us for a few nights and the staff made her feel so welcome. She loved the play area and was very pleased to receive a colouring book from one of the lovely staff members. I missed out on Halloween at home with her, so it was nice to bring her to a place that was all decorated. Elena was then transferred to the children’s ward where my Husband and I would be with her in shifts. It was so helpful to have RMHG to walk to for rest as opposed to driving extremely tired back to Kilmarnock. It is also a place that is staffed 24/7 so I felt safe returning there on my own during the night. All staff were welcoming and accommodating no matter what time of day.
RMHG will always have a special place in our hearts, and we will forever be grateful for the role they played in our baby’s road to recovery. For my birthday this year, I chose a Facebook fundraiser for RMH where we managed to raise £600. I was very proud of this and hope it can help in any way. Elena is now thriving, and we are all so relieved to have her home with her big Sister Isabella.
You can make a difference to families with children in hospital just like Elena’s
Ronald McDonald House Glasgow is an independent charity. As we are a self-funded House, it is our wonderful supporters who do ensure our doors can remain open to support families like Elena’s. It costs £75 per day to fully cover the cost for a family to stay at the House. If you would consider making a donation to support the families that the House supports, you can do so here .Back to Stories