An Oasis of Calm
Kate and David Lewis first stayed at Southampton House back in January 2015 for two and a half months while their son James was in hospital. Mum Kate describes in her own words what it meant to the family to stay in the Ronald McDonald House.
Guest Blogger: Kate Lewis
“We returned to Southampton General Hospital after a four and a half month stay in Newcastle Freeman Hospital, where James received a life-saving heart transplant. James continued his recovery from the transplant and a stroke in Southampton. He started haemo-dialysis (kidney dialysis, a process of purifying the blood) and now goes to the unit in Southampton three days a week.
Being able to stay in the Ronald McDonald House not only meant that we were able to be nearer to our son when he was an inpatient, but we could take James away from the ward. We were able to celebrate his fifth birthday that he had at the House. Here we are with birthday treats and a birthday brownie tower!
Staying at the Ronald McDonald House meant that we could still have family meals together and our other children, Charles and Amelia, could stay with us, as well as James’s grandparents and aunty. The House offered us an oasis of calm; homely sitting and eating areas, very comfortable rooms and the chance of time away from the medical environment. The homely environment created by helpful and friendly staff has been fantastic.
Being so close by to James meant that we could be with him at such short notice. This helped build his confidence and the play room in the House helped with his recovery and well-being.
James continues to have dialysis at the hospital three days a week. Having the Ronald McDonald House close by means I can use the day facilities like the communal lounge which is brilliant. I’m also a keen runner which I find gives me some headspace when things are stressful. After going for a run, I’m able to have a shower in the Ronald McDonald House and relax afterwards.
Thank you to Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Southampton team who helped us and so many families.