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Meet Four Fantastic Dads nominated by our House teams

June 09, 2022

Every father figure that walks into our Ronald McDonald Houses across the UK are all going through something traumatic – having a child in hospital.

Some are spending their first Father’s Day by their baby’s hospital bedside. Some are celebrating Father’s Day with their other children in between ward visits. And some of our dads are going above and beyond – not just for their family – for all the other families who are on a similar journey.

All dads in our Houses are strong, resilient and loved. So we asked our House staff to put forward some truly standout dads who we’ve had the pleasure of supporting.

Inspired by these super dads? Help us continue to give them precious time with their children in hospital by supporting our Family Time Together campaign.

Albie’s dad Preston, stayed at Brighton House.

Nominated by House Assistant Charlene and Community Fundraiser Abbie:

“I wholeheartedly nominate Preston for superdad. As well as being a brilliant dad he has worked tirelessly to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.  So far this year he has held two football tournaments, a charity golf day and is busy planning a three peaks challenge for August.  His enthusiasm is infectious and as well as raising our profile in Eastbourne, he has raised much-needed funds to help future families. He really is a star.” – Abbie

“Preston stayed in the House in March 2021 with his partner Keri, when their baby Albie was born premature. Preston always had a smile and positive attitude, even when they were going through a challenging time.” – Charlene

Preston says:

“Our baby Albie was born 11 weeks early and admitted to the Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton.

“Ronald McDonald House Brighton were there at what was a very low time after we had been told our newborn baby would be in hospital for weeks, maybe months.

“Myself and my partner Keri both felt uneasy at the thought of having to leave our first baby in an incubator and drive over an hour each way to and from the hospital every day. 

“Ronald McDonald House Charities UK made it possible for us to stay right next door to the hospital our baby was in and we were beyond grateful for this.

“It took a huge stress away at such a scary time and we felt like we could really be there for our baby who needed us.

“The best advice I could give is take every day and news from doctors as it comes. Another parent that was staying at Ronald McDonald House at the same time as us told me this. One day Albie would be under a jaundice light and then the next he was being taken off oxygen and feeding well. They usually have set backs but they also bounce back. Tiny babies are so strong.

“It’s a pleasure to be considered as a superdad. None of the fundraising would be possible without the motivation of Albie, the support of my partner Keri with what she has done, and all the help from the Charity!”

Nathan’s dad Patrick, staying at Manchester House.

Nominated by House Assistant Courteney:

“Patrick is an incredible father with three children who adore him! Patrick and Joy have been staying in the Manchester House for almost three years, with their teenage twins, whilst Nathan is in hospital.

“Every morning Patrick brings Nathan over from the ward and parades him around reception whilst he does his cheeky smile saying “Hi” to everyone. Patrick works so hard for his family, he works nights and then comes back to the House after his shift for his children making sure they get to school safe, and constantly encourages Nathan to greet us and doesn’t treat him any different to any other children. He is an extremely positive person and such a wonderful and supportive dad.”

Patrick says:

“I was short of words when I heard about my nomination, but I must tell you, I feel very much proud to know that what I do, like many other dads found in my situation, is worthy of recognition.

“The fact that a safe and enabling environment is created for my children to bond, that for me is priceless. Support to families by Ronald McDonald House Manchester is second to none.

“All dads in the Ronald McDonald Houses are strong already. The fact that we laugh in the face of adversity, and keep coming back from the lows with a single mind, focused to achieve one objective that one day our sick child and family will pull through, makes us all a super dad. So congratulations to all of us. My advice is this: continue the good work and keep doing what you are doing.”

Louis’ dad Ian, staying at Cardiff House.

Nominated by Deputy House Manager Fred:

“When their son Louis was born, Ian, his wife and five other children were moving from Devon to Merthyr. Louis was born in Bristol and then sent over to Cardiff. The family have spent the majority of Louis’ first year in the hospital and the Cardiff House.

“Ian has been a model of fatherhood, supporting his wife and children throughout the whole thing. He has been very supportive of other families that they have befriended in the House, and all this while running an acrylic jewellery company with his wife.

“He is a stellar guy and we thought was worth a mention.”

Ian says:

“Louis was born on 1 March 2021, and over a year on, he’s only been home for 25 days. We’re currently staying at the Cardiff House.

“The House means a lot to us. Having somewhere we can call home, relax, gather our thoughts and be close to Louis. We have no idea what we’d have done without it.

“My advice for other dads who are throw into this situation is to look after themselves. I found that out early on when I really started struggling, and you want to be there, but you’re not gonna be any good to anybody if you’re not looking after yourself. Don’t bottle your emotions up.”

Bear’s dad Charlie, staying at Tooting House.

Nominated by House Assistant Sophia:

“Charlie is an amazing dad who dotes on his three daughters, taking them out to the park and making arts and crafts with them. Charlie and his wife, Lauren, are staying at the Tooting House after their first son was born prematurely. They have been here for nearly a month and you can see the love Charlie has for his girls. Lauren has said what an amazing dad he is and how supportive he has been throughout their son’s hospital stay.”

Charlie says:

“Our baby boy Bear was born at term at 38 weeks, but had a severe blocked bowel and stomach.

“The moment we heard this, my partner Lauren and I both knew that this would be a result of him having a condition called cystic fibrosis. We knew this due to our eldest daughter, Lola, 10, being diagnosed with the same condition when she was five weeks old.

“Bear is now into week six of his stay so far.

“The House has given me everything I could want in this situation. It’s allowed our son to have his mum with him as much as possible, provided a safe place for my wife to rest, and a place for my three daughters to be kids for a while, away from the hospital.

“Also for me, “home” has always been anywhere my family is together, and the Ronald McDonald House Tooting has become that home. When I’m away during the week, I look forward to getting back there and being all together again and being “home”.

“I think as dads we pressure ourselves to maintain strength throughout trauma.  Finding strength is important in this situation, but it’s the strength of a partnership/team that will help you through. You’ll be facing problems that cannot be solved on your own. 

“For us, we have no external support network, family etc… but have found our togetherness of strength from the individuals at St George’s Hospital and Tooting House. They have come together with us to become a team, all of who shine their light into the dark, allowing you to see the end.”

These are just a few of the incredible dads that stay across our 13 Houses in the UK. We want to give a huge shout out to every single dad staying with us for Father’s Day 2022.

Have you met an incredible dad whilst staying in a Ronald McDonald House? Or perhaps it was your partner?

 

Tell us all about your story here.

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