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“Being in hospital for so long can make you feel very isolated” | Our longest staying families

March 30, 2021

Every day, millions of families across the UK are trying to find their new normal. For some, that’s adjusting to an ever changing Covid landscape, but for the thousands of families we support, it also means adjusting to life in hospital with a very sick child.

The families who stay in a Ronald McDonald House, stay an average of 17 nights. However, so many of them stay for far longer.

With 12 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK, we provide a safe and welcoming place for families to call home, for the duration of their child’s stay in hospital.

The Eyre Family – in a Ronald McDonald House since December 2019

“Lennie was admitted to hospital with end stage heart failure and we were told the next day that his only option was a transplant. We were given a room at the Ronald McDonald House a few days later and have been there ever since as due to Lennie’s IV medication he cannot leave the hospital until he gets his transplant.

Having the room has been an absolute god send for us as we live a 40 minute train journey away so for us to be able to be just a few minutes’ walk away from him every night has given us one less thing to worry about. The staff at the House are amazing and so generous. Having access to a proper kitchen has meant that we can cook meals rather than living off takeaways and ready meals.

Lennie is stable at the moment. He’s been on the urgent transplant list since Christmas Eve, 2019. It’s an awful situation to be in, knowing that someone has to go through so much devastation for our boy to have a chance of life, but unfortunately it’s the way life works and we will be forever grateful to the generous donor when the time comes.” Laura, mum

The Main family – 201 nights

“We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for 201 days so the cost of a local hotel would have been in the region of 20k. This figure alone shows how important having a House close to the hospital is for families and to not have that extra worry. Even when the whole country shut down we still had a place to stay close to Annabelle.

Annabelle had a tough seven month long stay in hospital due to her condition, which is called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She had to have many operations including two open heart surgeries in this time, so being so close to the hospital meant the absolute world to us as she was in a critical condition so many times! 

Annabelle was nearly six months old before we could even take her out of the hospital and we took her to the gardens at the Ronald McDonald House to get the much needed family time in a safe environment.

Thankfully she is doing great now and absolutely thriving at home!” Barry, dad

The Bluck Family – 1,242 nights

“Being in hospital for so long without adult interaction can make you feel very isolated, but the staff were always there whether I’d need to let off some steam, or to cry or to even just to have a giggle. The staff at the Ronald McDonald House were so lovely. They were so welcoming and they always made me feel like I was never alone.

My son [Caelan] endured many complications in hospital that could never have been predicted. I never ever thought I’d have spent just over three years in there. The Ronald McDonald House became my safe haven for a while; it was the only thing that allowed me to be with my little boy at his darkest of days. There were many nights I was woken by the hospital where I had to jump up and go to the ward because my son could have potentially lost his life within moments… if it wasn’t for Ronald McDonald House Charities, I’d never have been there within a few minutes.

Thank-you from the bottom of my heart for everything you did for me and do for others. I will never ever forget it.” Toni, mum

The Sumner family – in a Ronald McDonald House since November 2018

 “The Ronald McDonald House means our family can stay together.  We really don’t know what we wold have done without them, especially as Harvey has been in hospital for over two years now. 

The House has given us somewhere to stay, a warm bed and people to talk to about our worries and concerns. If we’ve needed a shoulder to cry on the staff are always there for us and are very friendly and caring.” Michelle, mum.

The Ahmed family – 670 nights

“Ronald McDonald House means absolutely everything to me and my family. They made us feel very welcome and nothing was ever too much.

Ronald McDonald House saved us in a very difficult time of our life. It gave us the opportunity to be with our daughter [Duaa] every single day. At Christmas time my daughter received presents, and on her birthday, which just shows the love they have for every single child.

My advice to a family just moving into Ronald McDonald House Manchester would be not to worry they are in the best possible hands and will be well looked after. Also to take each day as it comes and if in doubt ask for help or advice, there will always be help around.” Saiqa, mum

The Ncir family – 250 nights

“We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House from November 2019 until July 2020. Throughout our time there, everyone was friendly. It genuinely was a home away from home.

It was home to us celebrating the good moments and home to us when we were facing challenges.

The House kept us close and together; it will always be a part of our lives. During the lockdown period, the House allowed me to keep one of my twins with me, while my other twin was admitted in hospital.” Afreen, mum

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