Amanda and T.J. Dockery of Murphy, North Carolina once stayed at the Ronald McDonald House® in 2007 when their son Jack was born 16 weeks early. Little did they know, it wouldn’t be their last visit. On Feb. 18, their daughter Hannah was born six weeks early. In addition to being premature, she struggled to eat.
They checked in for their second time just a few days after Hannah’s birth on Feb. 23. Since Amanda was only a short distance from the hospital thanks to the Ronald McDonald House, she was able to be by Hannah’s side and encourage her.
“[Hannah] eats better when I’m feeding her and wouldn’t have progressed as well without the interaction. If it wasn’t for the Ronald McDonald House, I wouldn’t be able to spend time with her.” Amanda said.
While she made sure Hannah was receiving the proper nutrition, Amanda had to get some nutrition of her own. Staying at the Ronald McDonald House served as a gateway for food and rest in order to rejuvenate during a fearful time.
Other than the rest, one of Amanda and T.J.’s favorite parts about the House was the flexibility it offered. Their mothers, Wendy and Gloria, came to visit and help every now and then. Jack was able to visit on the weekends and take advantage of the teen lounge equipped with air hockey and pool tables, board games, computers, a television and plush chairs.
“When Jack comes to visit, the game room is comforting to him. It’s neat to show him that we once stayed here when he was small.”
The Dockery family checked out on March 13 after staying for 19 nights. Today, Hannah is growing and doing well in her own home.