The Wise Family has found a “home-away-from-home” at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill not just once, but now twice after the births of their sons, Garrett, now 18 months and Greyson, now 5 months old.
“I had just had [baby] Garrett and it was time for me to be discharged and the hospital staff said I had to go home,” said mom, Darrah. “I was crying because I couldn’t bring home my 27-weeker and I couldn’t just leave him, but the caseworker eased my mind by introducing the RMH.”
“My first impression was of wonder,” she said. “It was such a nice facility.” The Wise family stayed at the House for 71 days after Garrett was born.
Darrah and dad, Garrett, welcomed Greyson into the world at just 26 weeks in September 2019. The family once again found themselves at RMHCH as Greyson gets stronger and the doctors work to treat his micrognathia, a condition in which the lower jaw is undersized.
While staying at RMH, the family has taken advantage of the many features of the House. “RMH has been great for [baby] Garrett because he’s been able to have areas to play and the opportunity to meet some fun furry friends,” Darrah said. “We know that he appreciates dogs now!”
In addition to enjoying our therapy dogs, baby Garrett also took his first steps while staying at the Ronald McDonald House!
Darrah and dad Garrett have also appreciated the community of support at RMHCH. “I have spoken to a lot of other families and sometimes it’s just a nice feeling to be able to speak with people who know what you’re talking about because they are having to battle the obstacle of a sick child also,” she said. “Sometimes it’s very humbling.”
During long days at the hospital, Darrah turns to the Ronald McDonald Family Room. “It’s a really helpful resource because hospital food tends to be monotonous and costly,” she said. “It’s also a nice place to relax.”
For the Wise family, RMHCH is a place to relax and recharge. “It is truly a place to be able to gather some rest and provide some self-care during this terrifying time,” she said.
“Had the RMH not existed, I probably wouldn’t have been able to participate in Greyson’s care as often as I can now. This already trying time would have been way more stressful without the House.”