“It’s a blessing.”
Without the Reno Ronald McDonald House, Kim Quintanilla and Steven Thompson would have moved back to California while their newborn daugher Raiden was still in the hospital.
“The House changed our lives in every way, shape and form,” said Steven of the couple’s three month stay following Raiden’s premature birth. “If we weren’t able to stay here with our situation, we may have had to go back to [family in] California. That would have been really hard.”
At at 26 week ultrasound, doctors discovered Kim’s placenta had quit nourishing the baby. Without ample nutrients, the fetus was only developed to 23 weeks. “So they took her by C-section,” said Kim. “An hour after they told me it was an emergency situation.”
Steven raced from their home and barely made it in time for the procedure. From appointment to delivery, things happened so fast it left the family slightly disoriented. “It was definitely surreal, like, that can’t be my baby, they made a mistake,” said Steven. “Something was wrong, it was very scary.”
But staying at the House meant they didn’t have to find rides back and forth to their home (at the time of this story they did not have a vehicle) and that they could afford to be close. IT also meant that Kim was able to shadow the nurses in the hospital to learn best h ow to take care of such an early baby.
“She was a lot smaller and on the ventilator longer,” Kim exlpained. “She has a chronic lung disorder, so she has a little bit of a wheeze when she breathes and has to stay on oxygen. But we’d been there for three months and watched the nurses so we know what we’re doing now. IT gave me a boost of confidence that it will be ok.”
While the family headed home in January 2016 when Raiden was cleared from the hospital, the memory of staying at the Reno Ronald McDonald House will be with them for a long time.
“To me it means there’s someone out there dedicated to helping people,” said Steven. “I never really understood what the Ronald McDonald House was and now I’m the one explaining it to people. We really couldn’t ask for more. It’s definitely a gift. It’s a blessing.”
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