Alan and Carly McMannus were taken by surprise when their daughter, Margaret, was born at just 29 weeks. After their daughter was transferred to the NICU at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, the family was brought to the Ronald McDonald Family Room.
The McMannus family knew it would be weeks before Margaret was ready to leave the hospital, and the Family Room helped them retain a sense of normalcy. Between free, homemade meals and taking breaks to visit with the staff and other families, they were able to establish a daily routine, and the Family Room provided much needed relief from the hardships they were facing.
The Family Room also allowed the McMannus family to stay at their daughter’s side without separating from their two-year-old son, Sam. Being close to the NICU and their daughter—feeding her, holding her, and watching her grow—was important to Carly and Alan. Not only did the Family Room keep them close to their daughter, it kept the McMannus’ together as a family unit.
Happily, Margaret was discharged from the hospital four days before Christmas allowing the family to spend the holidays together at home. She is continuing to gain weight and grow and is thriving under the caring, watchful eye of big brother, Sam.