Not So Simple
When your child’s sick, life’s not so simple.
Every parent wants to be there for their child. But when your child’s admitted to hospital, life’s anything but simple. Your world turns upside down, and suddenly little decisions like whether to take a shower, cook a meal or go to work the next day turn into big dilemmas that take you from your sick child’s side. And with a shortage of family hospital rooms, you might find yourself having to pay for expensive accommodation, or travel hundreds of miles every day just to be with your child.
WHAT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES UK DOES...
At Ronald McDonald House Charities UK, we’ve been providing free family accommodation by specialist hospitals for 30 years, but our Houses are always full and our waiting lists are long.
We want every hospital to have a Ronald McDonald House close by so that no matter what other choices families have to make, time together is a given.
The family accommodation we provide is free of charge and a stone's throw away from the children's ward.
In 2018, we supported over 6,000 families across our Houses.
Every bedroom in a Ronald McDonald House has a telephone linked directly to the children's ward.
Our Houses are open 365 days a year, providing free accommodation and a place for families to rest, relax, eat and be together, away from the stress of the hospital ward.
Meet some of our Families
- Name: Betty
- Age: 2
- Profession: 24/7 Star
When Betty was born 10 weeks early, mum Teresa didn't know how she could keep her family together when Betty needed heart surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital. With her older children still in school, Betty's extended stay in hospital uprooted family life. A stay that they thought would last a few weeks, lasted months. Thankfully, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK could provide their family with free accommodation right next to Betty's ward, helping the family with the unexpected costs that come with having a child in hospital.
- Name: Sammy
- Age: 1
- Profession: Full-time Smiler
When Sammy was born, he had something seriously wrong with his kidneys. He needed lots of surgery and care. But Sammy's parents lived over an hour away from the specialist hospital and didn't have access to a car. They worried about how they would be able to stay near their first child together whilst he was going through this traumatic time. Luckily, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK could provide his parents with a room, close to Evelina London Children's Hospital, with a phone directly linked to the children's ward so they could ask about Sammy's progress 24/7.
- Name: Aria
- Age: 2
- Profession: World's Best Sister
Aria couldn't wait to meet her baby brother, but when Ollie was born, he was seriously ill and needed major open heart surgery. The family soon realised that he would need a transplant, but with a long waiting list and with Ollie still being admitted into Birmingham Children's Hospital, how could the family who had travelled all the way from Ireland, stay close to each other? Luckily, Ronald McDonald House Birmingham could provide mum, dad and big sister Aria with a room so they could stay close to Ollie for as long as it took.
Our Study Shows...
To mark 30 years of keeping families together, we conducted a study on parents’ attitudes around their little ones falling ill because we want to highlight the challenging realities that some families face every day.
23% of parents have had to leave their child alone in hospital overnight
96% of parents would rely on their child being placed in a local hospital nearby and 82% of parents would rely on the support of family or charity workers, in order to cope with having a hospitalised child
81% of parents would never choose to leave their sick child alone in hospital overnight
62% would feel differently about leaving their child alone overnight in hospital, if they had a place to stay close by
That fact is that while most parents would do anything to be at their sick child’s bedside, putting that into practice can be challenging. A huge majority of parents said they’d drive to visit their child in hospital every day. But what if the hospital is hundreds of miles away? What do you do if your child’s hospitalised for weeks or even months? How do you keep the family together?
Download the full results of our online study below.Download
Donate to help families in need
We want every parent to be able to stay by their little one’s side, and we need your help in making that possible.Donate now
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