Emma Williams was born in Iowa City at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, over 120 miles away from her home in Cambridge, Iowa. Her parents, Megan and Cory, knew Emma was going to have an extended stay at the hospital due to complications at birth. Fortunately, they were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City the same day Megan was discharged from the hospital. For Emma’s entire 96-day hospital stay, her parents called Ronald McDonald House home.
Being in a new place away from friends and family for so long can take a toll on parents. But for Megan, it was easy to connect with other families staying at the House. “I actually met another mom who had a child going through the same exact thing as Emma,” said Megan. She continued, “I could discuss some of the same experiences we were going through and ask questions. A strong bond was built, and we were there for each other.”
While at the Ronald McDonald House, the Williams didn’t have to worry about a hotel bill, meals, or transportation to and from the hospital. “We didn’t have to think about spending money on food or parking while staying at the House,” said Megan. The financial burden was removed and they had their own space to decompress after difficult days at the hospital. “Our daughter was so fragile, and we couldn’t always be by her side or in the room with her. We had a sense of security knowing if anything were to happen, we could be at the hospital in no time, and that’s all thanks to the Ronald McDonald House,” said Megan.