Balliett Family – 25 nights at RMHC of NW Ohio

June 1, 2023 | Family Story, News

Like most parents, Angela and Dusten expected to take newborn Willow home. However, after delivery, baby Willow was experiencing issues with feeding and could not keep food down. Angela and Dusten live in Van Wert, Ohio, and were transported to the NICU at the Ebeid Children’s Hospital for further testing.

“Living hours away and having your baby transferred to a NICU hits you hard,” says Angela. “It’s a very stressful and scary situation seeing hospital staff transport your baby. I just want to know what is wrong with my child.”

Upon arrival at Ebeid Children’s Hospital and after multiple tests, doctors found the cause of the issue to be Hirschsprung’s disease, which affects the large intestine at birth. The treatment for this disease requires surgery.

Living 2 hours away from where baby Willow will be undergoing surgery, Angela leaned on her family for advice.

“I have stayed at RMHC of Central Ohio before for my daughter, and my sister mentioned to me that there is a Ronald McDonald House in Toledo,” says Angela. That is where Angela and Dusten’s journey begins with RMHC of Northwest Ohio.

For 25 nights, Angela, Dusten, and other family members would call Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Ohio home. “This place has been amazing to us. It gave us peace of mind knowing we were that close to her without having to sleep in the hospital,” says Dusten. “The meals were amazing, and it helped relieve a lot of stress and anxiety that we would have had if we drove back and forth each day.”

After surgery, baby Willow has been doing much better. She has been healing, and post-op appointments have indicated she’s heading in the right direction!

Studies show that families in a Ronald McDonald House report more positive hospital experiences and a greater ability to participate in their child’s care. “The Ronald McDonald House helped us feel like we were at home. It was our home away from home for over a month,” Dusten thankfully explains.

Consider donating to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Ohio to support families traveling to Toledo for their child’s medical crisis. Click HERE to support RMHC of Northwest Ohio.