At week 26 of Sienna Mally-Nawaz’s pregnancy, doctor’s diagnosed her unborn baby with a congenital heart defect which was going to require at least three operations after birth. Already raising two young children, Sienna and her husband Jawad knew this was going to be a long, stressful journey.
Sienna gave birth to Eva in October of 2018 and after Eva underwent five operations her doctor’s placed her on a heart transplant list. Sienna and Jawad stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City for 404 days to stay close to Eva throughout life. Despite the stresses of being away from their home in Marion for so long and the medical issues Eva faces, Sienna feels blessed to be at the Ronald McDonald House. She explains, “Our stay was such a God send and took a huge burden off our family. There is no way we would have be able to afford lodging and fuel while Eva was in the hospital. The Ronald McDonald House allowed my family to stay together during these tough times so we could be right by Eva as she fought every day.”
Despite knowing only the hospital room in her young life, Eva developed her own larger than life personality. “We call her Diva Eva” laughed Sienna. “She would see people in her room that she didn’t recognize and give them this attitude. It cracks us up so much that we made special t-shirts that say ‘Dive Eva’. The Ronald McDonald House is a true blessing and moments like this are ones we cherish because we were able to be next to her every day and see her develop.”