Harper Schuldt was born in Iowa City at just 25 weeks to first-time parents Chance and Jessi. Residing in Van Wert, Iowa, which is almost 3 hours away from Iowa City, the young couple wasn’t quite sure what to do next. Harper has a long road ahead of her in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Chance and Jessi just simply want to be close to their daughter during her recovery. “A social worker suggested the Ronald McDonald House here in Iowa City and we honestly didn’t know quite how everything worked. Soon after being discharged from the hospital, we checked in at the House and it’s been tremendous.” said Jessi.
While Harper began to improve under the care of great doctors and nurses, her parents were able to find a way to cope with the stresses of having a child in the hospital. Jessi loves the unique activities available for adults, “The most memorable moments we had were when the staff had activities for the families. One activity I loved was when a local pottery business came and we got to paint our own clay pot! Sitting down and focusing on something as simple as painting allowed us to relax and also get to know the other families staying at the House. Connecting with families made us realize we weren’t alone.”
Out of all the great things Ronald McDonald House Charities provides for Chance and Jessi, the biggest gift is being so close to Harper, “We are most thankful just to be close to our daughter. Everyone at the Ronald McDonald House has helped us tremendously and we appreciate this organization more than anyone will ever know. We plan on donating as much as we can and can’t wait to give back to help other families in need.”