Bekah’s Family Story

I was four years old when my brother Jo was born. At just 10 days old, he underwent open heart surgery and my family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House during this time. Aside from the vivid memories of being at the hospital and the uncertainty of knowing just how critical he was, I can easily remember the time spent at the House as well.

The short drive from the hospital to the House allowed us to have a place to relax and quickly return to the hospital when everything was an unknown. I remember making meals and getting snacks from kitchen and speaking with other families who were there. I remember spending time in the playroom and running around on the playground. I remember sitting and watching movies on the recliners until I fell asleep in my parent’s arms. I remember having a place to call home – a place to sleep, a place to eat, a place to play away from the hospital.

Over the next few years, my brother spent time in the hospital and we spent time at the Ronald McDonald house. To give back, my family has collected numerous soda can tabs, magazines and supplies to give to the House that so openly gave to us in our time of need. The House became a second home during a time of not knowing what is going to happen next. There are no words to describe how much gratefulness I have for the staff and volunteers who spend countless hours ensuring families are comforted when they need it most.

Recently, I had the opportunity to stay at the Ronald McDonald House as an adult while my brother underwent another operation. I was flooded with memories from my childhood; though the Ronald McDonald House has been remodeled the feeling of it being home has not changed. What I didn’t realize at four years old was just how much the House provided for my family and me. The House is a supportive network of families who have a child in the hospital going through the unimaginable. What better way could there be than to go through these challenging times with other house families who can understand and relate to the difficult time that your family is going through. My family has been blessed by this amazing charity and I am forever grateful for the kindness and support they showed during a time of need.

– Bekah Ramcharan