For 27 weeks, Brittany Mullins pregnancy had gone perfectly. No signs of trouble—just smooth sailing for her and husband, Chance, as they eagerly awaited the coming birth of their first child, Asher, a boy, in the Gallipolis, Ohio, area.
But then, a sudden increase in the size of Brittany’s baby bump and pre-term contractions sent the concerned parents to the hospital.
“We got an ultrasound and found out there was fluid on his abdomen,” said Brittany. “We weren’t sure what was wrong. There were a lot of scary diagnoses.”
Four short weeks later, the extra fluid caused Asher to be born prematurely at 31 weeks. He lived his first four weeks of life at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, before being transferred to the NICU at Riverside Methodist Hospital.
“He was diagnosed with a posterior urethral valve, which meant urine wasn’t draining correctly, causing the fluid on his abdomen,” said Brittany. “He had surgery at one month old and his prognosis is good.”
Brittany said it was the Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room that kept her and her family going during the tough time.
“I couldn’t imagine driving two hours back and forth to see him,” said Brittany of the House for Asher’s first four weeks at Nationwide Children’s. “It was so helpful to have a place to shower and eat. Plus, I have an immune disorder so I have a specific diet. And the family kitchens helped keep me from getting sick while I was there.”
When Asher was transferred to Riverside to a bed for more critical babies, it was the new Family Room that helped her and her family.
“Having the family room allowed me to move in with Asher and breastfeed him,” said Brittany. “It’s allowed me to stay here and have a shower and eat. It’s been such a blessing to us.”
Brittany said it’s the little things that the Ronald McDonald House and Family Room offer that keep families going.
“When your baby is in the NICU, fighting for his life, you forget the little things,” said Brittany. “And to have people there supporting you and making it available to just be clean and to eat makes a difference. It made all the difference in his care and his discharge time.”
Brittany has just one thing to say to all the donors who made the Ronald McDonald Family Room possible: “You have changed lives by making the Family Room available. It is of the utmost importance in our lives that we can express to them how thankful we are.”