The Lehman family came to the Ronald McDonald House shortly after their son Wyatt was born on November 11th – almost two months premature.
Wyatt was very ill with many complications from his premature birth. There were many attempts to keep him alive as doctors struggled to find out why he kept destabilizing. Night after night Wyatt’s parents, Cherish and Jonathan, sat by his side hoping for the best and fearing the worst while they held his tiny body close. It was one of those nights that Cherish noticed Wyatt’s colour change dramatically. Doctors decided they had to do an exploratory surgery immediately or risk not finding out what was wrong.
The good news? Doctors discovered severe bowel deterioration which meant that the family had a diagnosis and a treatment plan. The bad news? It would take months before Wyatt would be able to leave his hospital bed. The Lehmans knew they had to stay by Wyatt’s side, but had no idea how they could make it work financially and emotionally with three young children back at home.
“I was a weeping mess sitting in that hospital room, I had no idea what to do,” described mom Cherish, “And then thirty minutes later my phone rang – it was the Ronald McDonald House calling to say they had a room for us.”
The hospital was a very intimidating place for Wyatt’s siblings, but they came to love being at the Ronald McDonald House. It was a place of refuge – somewhere they could eat together, rest together, and lean on other families for support. The Lehman family spent 191 nights at the Ronald McDonald House, including the holidays.
“The Ronald McDonald House gave us peace – knowing that we were truly not alone in whatever we were struggling with.”