A Place to Call Home

“Had we not been there and come home, things could have gone a lot differently. Being there we were safe and secure. Ronald McDonald House took every measure to keep us safe and ourselves safe.

Hayley and Donnie arrived at the Ronald McDonald House in February 2020, before the effects of the coronavirus hit the Charleston area. Hayley had a high-risk pregnancy with her twins, Lucinda and Oliver, and lived two hours away from the hospital. Their babies were not due for several months, meaning they needed a long-term place so Hayley could remain close to the hospital until their babies were born.

“I was high risk and I had an incompetent cervix and they had put a tie in early on in the pregnancy, but my cervix was still shortening. And I lived two hours away from Charleston, so they didn’t want me to come home and then risk having the babies early and our hospital not be able to do anything at home.”

Donnie and Hayley live more than two hours away from Charleston, where Hayley was scheduled to deliver her twins. Her doctors were concerned about her risk of delivering early and not arriving at the hospital in time. This is when Hayley and Donnie were referred to the Ronald McDonald House, where they would stay for 72 nights until their twins were born at 34 weeks.

“Had we not been there and come home, things could have gone a lot differently. Being there we were safe and secure. Ronald McDonald House took every measure to keep us safe and ourselves safe. It was a great experience overall. Had it not been there we would have had to come back home a couple of hours away and risk the cerclage failing and possibly losing her life and both of these babies.”

During their stay, COVID-19 began to spread throughout West Virginia. Being able to remain close to the hospital and remaining safe and healthy was now more important than ever for Hayley and Donnie as they waited for their twins’ arrival.

“When things hit, it was a strange situation. Things were shutting down and even throughout that we were still able to be close and make sure that the care that was needed was easily accessed.”

Hayley and Donnie had all the comforts of home while staying at the Ronald McDonald House. From a private room, comforting meals, laundry facilities, and more, they had a home-away-from-home all within walking distance of the hospital. After their twins, Lucinda and Oliver, were born, they had a short stay in the NICU before going home.

“When they first came out and were in the NICU, you know it was a concern every day. That’s why being close was so important. We can be there at just a minute’s notice. And she had to have a little help breathing in the beginning and the NICU staff and the Ronald McDonald House kept us going and kept us positive to be able to bring these two home.”

How More Families Stay Together

Help families, like Hayley and Donnie, have a home-away-from-home by donating today at apps.charlestonrmhc.org/donate-now