Thursday, September 19, 2013
Public Service Announcement : Ronald McDonald House
I spent the night Tuesday night in the Ronald McDonald house here inside Texas Children's hospital. Friends, if you are unfamiliar with what the Ronald McDonald program does for families of ill children, let me share with you some of what they do. Lenah's surgery was done on the 18th floor of the West Tower at Texas Children's Hospital. On the 17th floor there is a large, mostly comfortable area where families can rest, try to relax, and wait while their child is in surgery or in the CVICU (cardiovascular intensive care unit). Also inside this waiting area they have a living room/kitchenette that is maintained by the Ronald McDonald program. They make snacks and drinks available at all times to visitors. They also have two shower rooms and two toilet rooms. These areas are available 24 hours a day.
In a connected building there is another area - an in-hospital Ronald McDonald house that also has a living room type area, kitchen area, library, computer area, laundry room, and 20 small hotel type rooms with private bathrooms. The living/kitchen areas in this part are open from 9am-9pm. The hotel rooms are available 7pm-11am on a level of need basis. If your child is having surgery that day, you are considered a priority. If your child is in intensive care you are put on a level of need, then first come basis. In the afternoons from 1-5 they have these rooms available for napping on a first come-first served basis. These areas are available at no cost to families and are staffed by many volunteers. For families that live far away or need longer term or larger space, there is another building the Ronald McDonald House that has apartment type housing for families to stay in while their child is hospitalized. These apartments are $15 a night. These areas have been a tremendous blessing to me as I can not drive for another week or so because of my c-section. So, the next time you visit the golden arches drop what you can in the box. They do good work.