Nathan’s Story

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Admitted to hospital in Glasgow

It was the 19th of December 2013 when Nathan was admitted to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow, after spending the previous seven days as an inpatient at the family’s local hospital in Kilmarnock.

“When Nathan was born, it was discovered that he had a vascular ring which was stopping him from being able to breathe”, his mum Donna told us. “He needed keyhole surgery to divide the ring”. Although Nathan’s surgery went well, the vascular ring had caused significant damage to his windpipe, meaning he then needed open heart surgery to perform an aortopexy. This would help to open up his windpipe by stitching his aorta onto his chest bone, giving him more space to breathe and keeping his airway open.

“This was a terrifying time for everyone”, Donna remembers. “Being from Kilmarnock, it was an awful thought to not be there beside him as he was fighting this in Glasgow”.

Accommodation at Ronald McDonald House

“Being offered a place at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow meant absolutely everything. This way we could be right there if he needed us through the night – the nurses or doctors could phone and we could be there in a second. Staying in the House with the other parents also gave us a sense of comfort. Being surrounded by people going through the same kind of emotions as you can really help during such an emotionally difficult time”.

Time to go home

Nathan was discharged from Glasgow in April 2014 – “which was the best news in the world”, Donna remembers. He still needed regular check ups and remained an outpatient in Glasgow for over a year, and he now has a consultant at Crosshouse Hospital where he has yearly reviews.

“Nathan is an absolutely amazing kid. He is full of personality, and nothing stops him. You’d never know the struggles he encountered coming into the world and I am so grateful to everyone who helped us through that period of time, especially the Ronald McDonald House staff who really helped ease the stress in such a worrying time.

We will be forever grateful.”

25 Years of Ronald McDonald House Glasgow

Donna kindly shared her experience of staying at the House in 2014 as part of a collection of family stories to mark the 25th birthday of Ronald McDonald House Glasgow. We are proud to have accommodated over 12,000 families since the original House opened in 1996. To help ensure our doors remain open to support families in years to come, please consider making a donation today. Thank you.

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