Emergency C-section Brings Eastern Oregon Family to Our House

In January of 2023, a surprise emergency C-section brought our son Elias into the world. Our mighty warrior was born 15 and a half weeks early only weighing a mere 1 pound 7.9 ounces. The closest NICU was in a different state which is where we were first introduced to the network of Ronald McDonald Houses. Elias’ medical complexity eventually led us to seek out the medical expertise of clinicians at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Our journey uprooted us and took us across the country to Columbus, Ohio – over 2,000 miles away from our home in Eastern Oregon. Fortunately, we were blessed to be able to stay at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House which alleviated much of the stress with emergently moving across the country.

Being so far away from home had its own set of challenges. It was crucial for us to be with Elias and to be able to give him the love and attention he required. I was forced to quit my job in Oregon to focus my full attention on Elias’ care and medical advocacy. Thankfully, RMHC provided the perfect space for my husband Caleb to work remotely and keep our family together. There is no way we would have been able to afford our mortgage back in Oregon as well as a new home in Columbus, not knowing when our son would be discharged from the hospital.

Ronald McDonald House Charities has been vital in our ability to care for and support our son. Not only did RMHC provide us with a home away from home to rest from the stresses of hospital life, but it has also allowed our small family to stick together. My husband and I were able to see our son every day and be together throughout the week. We connected with other families staying at the House who are walking through similar journeys.

We have developed meaningful relationships with the staff at RMHC and we have always felt taken care of during our stay. We were always greeted when coming and going and they always asked about Elias’ well-being. The Ronald McDonald House became our surrogate home and family as our journey continues here in Ohio.

The Ronald McDonald House is the reason why we can live so close to our son and provide his much-needed care. RMHC is a huge blessing to our family, and we are forever thankful for this place and the amazing people working here.

We appreciate all that you have done and all that you continue to do to support families like ours!

Much Love,
Caleb, Victoria, & Elias Andrews