Parents Heather and Shawn Lawrence checked in to the Ronald McDonald House as returning residents. They stayed here a few years prior when son, Bo, was born early. On Oct. 22, Heather delivered her daughter, Ava, five weeks early. Unfortunately, she had breathing problems and jaundice. They were glad to return to the House, but also worried while trying to stay hopeful their daughter would recover.
“We felt like we were at a second home,” said Shawn Lawrence.
“It was very comforting getting to check in for the second time. It was a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders.”
Big brother Bo was also just as grateful to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. “Bo loves staying here and calls it the ‘McDonald House!’”
Brothers and sisters are always welcome considering the House has a play room and teen lounge offering tons of toys and games like air hockey, basketball throw board games and various other stuffed animals and toys.
After Ava grew healthy enough to return home, they checked out on Halloween after staying at the House for five nights.
A smooth pregnancy is what all new moms and dads hope will happen. What gets scary is when the pregnancy goes just as it should and then one day, turmoil strikes. Terry and Brittany Murphy had an easy going pregnancy and then 25 weeks in, Brittany was in labor for 12 hours without knowing it. Their daughter, Bralynn, was born early weighing only 1 lb. 10 oz. They were scared, shocked and did not quite know where to turn for rest until they were introduced to the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House.
The next few months felt like a waiting game. Seven weeks in, Bralynn was breathing on her own. After checking in the House and Bralynn seemed to be improving, their outcome was finally looking hopeful.
“I don’t know what we would’ve done without the Ronald McDonald House,” Terry said.
“It’s so nice to have a community of people in the same situation at the House. We can talk amongst each other which helps emotionally.”
Now, Bralynn is breathing well, transitioning into bottle feeding and expected to keep progressing.
As you know, we have a leap year nearly every four years. We see this as an extra day to do good. Tell a family member you love them, call a friend who lives far away to catch up or help a stranger. Whatever you do be thankful for the extra day you have.
On this day, we’re giving you the opportunity to give a little extra to our Ronald McDonald House food pantry, called Mary’s Pantry. We strive to offer RMHC families a place to rest and eat hot meals and snacks. It’s our desire to provide them enough rest and the right nutrition so they can be strong for their child.
By the way, every dollar you donate doubles!
(Click this hyperlink above and click the “Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund” tab to learn more.)
A generous local partner wants to help the Ronald McDonald House raise $150,000 for Mary’s Pantry Endowment Fund. They’ve committed to matching every dollar that you donate up to $75,000. When you give a dollar…it becomes two. Once the goal has been met, the income generated from the endowment fund will purchase the needed food for families all year long.