21 Feb A second family for the Thorntons
While Theresa Thornton lay recovering at the Carson Tahoe Hospital from an emergency C-section after her daughter was declared as in a “failure to thrive,” newborn Beatrix was rushed to the Saint Mary’s Health Network Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Reno. Shortly afterward, Beatrix was routed to Renown Children’s Hospital. Theresa was terrified not knowing what was happening to her baby right away, waiting for news and fearing the worst.
Though she needed to recover from her C-section, Theresa refused to be kept away. Bonding with her daughter during her recovery was incredibly important to her.
Beatrix needed her mom, meaning Theresa needed a place to stay since she lived in Silver Springs, 60 miles away from her daughter’s medical treatment. Making the commute from her home as often as she needed was not only unrealistic, but unaffordable. When a social worker referred her to the Reno Ronald McDonald House®, Theresa stated she felt relieved.
“Being so close allows me to be with her every single day, which has made all the difference in her care,” Theresa explained. “Before I was able to see her, she was so sick. As soon as we were together she improved.”
“I had no idea what I was going to do,” said Theresa. “Knowing I would be so close and have a place to not only recover, but feel like I was at home…was a huge relief.”
The House has allowed Theresa to not only stay close to Beatrix, but also relax away from the hospital with warm, prepared dinners during a time at which Theresa feels even “making cereal is overwhelming.” But even with the creature comforts offered by the charity, dealing with her daughter’s hospitalization hasn’t been easy.
“I’ve been terrified some nights of losing her,” she said. “Some things she’s been through have been really scary for me, and it seems that her problems never end. It’s been hard but the House has been like a second family for me. That makes it all so much easier to handle.”
As Theresa states, those who support the House have given a precious gift to her and her family. “My Beatrix would have no concept of her parents, and I would have no idea who she is,” she said. “I have no doubts her condition would have deteriorated without the House allowing me to be close by and keep her strong, and honestly, I would have, too. Every day I am able to sit with her, hold her, love her, it makes a difference. She knows I love her, and as her mother that is the most important thing I can give her.”
On Friday, February 17, Theresa and Beatrix marked 100 days at the Reno House. Theresa celebrated “100 days of getting better” with a balloon and ice cream.