My name's Chris Hassell and my wife Helen and I are from Newark, Nottinghamshire. We have been in the position that we've stayed at Ronald McDonald House Oxford frequently over the past six years.
Our son Karl, now 18 years old, was transferred to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham where he was operated on at less than a day old. Since then he has needed over 40 operations both in Oxford and at Queen's Medical Centre. Karl was born with complex conditions called Spina bifida and Hydrocephalus which have required specialist care at the John Radcliffe Children's Hospital in Oxford.
Ronald McDonald House Oxford meant Karl was able to take some time out from the ward at the House with us. It also meant his brother Liam was able to stay and be close to his older brother. The House was an absolute sanctuary for us and crucially, meant we could stay together as a family.
In October, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK celebrated 25 years of providing accommodation to families like ours. In celebration of this, we were invited by big supporter of the Charity and McDonald’s Franchisee – Jerry Nicholls – to an ice hockey game he had kindly sponsored in Nottingham. The moment that we went out on the ice and Karl presented the Man of the Match award was one we will never forget. It made us realise how far Karl had come and how strong we are as a family. We were really happy to be there to support the Charity that has helped us for so many years.