Fathli and Salwa are proud parents of two boys, with their youngest son Ilhan, turning six years old this year. Ilhan was born with a congenital heart defect called Dextrocardia with Single Ventricle, which required close medical attention ever since his condition was discovered.
Earlier this year, Ilhan was admitted for his second scheduled open-heart surgery. Fathli and Salwa knew the importance of this operation, and hoped that it would be the last major procedure their young son would have to endure. It was a critical time for their family, filled with mixed emotions and prayers for a successful outcome.
During this challenging period, Fathli and Salwa learned about the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) through the medical team who informed them about the facilities and services which were made available to them. They had the opportunity to stay in both the Ronald McDonald House and also to utilize the Ronald McDonald Family Room. These spaces provided a sense of normalcy and togetherness for their family. The Ronald McDonald House, in particular, was invaluable, as it allowed their eldest son to be by their side during this trying time. Being together as a family brought them comfort and hope amid uncertainty.
Fathli and Salwa described the Ronald McDonald House and Family Room as a “home-away-from-home” as these spaces became a safe haven, providing them with the support and resources they needed to continue their daily lives while caring for Ilhan. Ready-to-eat meals provided convenience in filling their tummies, ensuring they had the strength to be there for their son.
Throughout their entire experience with RMHC, Fathli and Salwa were deeply moved by the compassion and support shown by the volunteers and staff they met. Ronald McDonald House Charities became a beacon of hope, a place where their family could find solace and continue their daily lives. The kindness and empathy they received went beyond physical spaces; it created an atmosphere of warmth and understanding during their challenging time.