Sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. Charlie and Kaitlin Young live only minutes away from a level III NICU in their hometown of Orem, Utah but as fate would have it, they ended up giving birth in Grangeville, Idaho while visiting family. After learning that the Boise NICU was full, they discovered their family was transferring to Spokane to receive care at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital NICU.
“It was definitely unexpected,” explained Kaitlin, the proud new mother of twin babies, Rex and Eleanor Young. “We live pretty close to two different NICUs and had a whole gameplan, but we felt that it all happened like it did for a reason.” After the hectic travelling and transferring, the family was happy to be somewhere that their little ones could receive the care they needed.
Having twins only 23 weeks into gestation can be a very emotional experience for a family. That experience can be compounded by being in an unfamiliar city without contacts or prearranged places to stay. This is where the Ronald McDonald House came into the picture for the Young family. “We had no idea where we were going to stay and we really didn’t want to be far from the hospital,” expressed Charlie, Rex and Eleanor’s father. “That was the most comforting aspect of the house. We were constantly worried about making sure we were close by. The house gave us the opportunity to stay close and be within minutes of Rex and Eleanor.”
Since moving into the house on June 15th, Charlie and Kaitlin have found the Ronald McDonald House to be a source of strength and security. Meeting the other families in the house who are going through similar situations gave them a support system that they did not expect to have. “There are so many families that you meet that are going through tough times just like you, so to have each other to talk to and to help everyone cope during these difficult times was an invaluable experience I will never forget”.
While caring for children receiving care at the NICU, parents often forget to take care of themselves to make sure they are getting the simple things in life like food and sleep. “The sack lunch program is amazing. It is not something I would have even thought about but it helped us so many days when we simply didn’t have enough time to think about meals.”
The Young family were happy to report that Rex and Eleanor have turned a corner for the better and are doing well. They will be forever grateful of the love and support that the Ronald McDonald House and the city of Spokane showed to them while they were bringing Rex and Elanor into the world, 760 miles away from home.