Finding Respite at the Ronald McDonald House

Amilianah and Haiqal, first-time parents to their son Uwais, found themselves embarking on an unexpected journey of parenthood filled with trials and tribulations.

Their agony began when a detailed fetal scan at 20 weeks revealed severe Oligohydramnios (an amniotic fluid disorder resulting in decreased amniotic fluid volume for gestational age), prompting discussions of pregnancy termination. While they frantically sought a second opinion and were exploring ways to save the foetus, Uwais was born prematurely at 24 weeks, plunging them into a world of uncertainty and challenges that they never prepared for.

As Uwais battled life threatening sepsis during his first week of life and his condition teetered on the edge, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) team suggested comfort care, but Amilianah and Haiqal refused to give up hope. With each passing day, Uwais’ condition was exacerbated by lung complications and Pulmonary Hypertension, culminating in a tracheostomy surgery in August 2023. Their journey spanned 8 months in the NICU followed by an additional 2 months in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Amidst the turbulence, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) emerged as a beacon of support for the family. Unaware of RMHC prior to Uwais’ admission, Amilianah and Haiqal found solace and respite in the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms (RMFRs) at National University Hospital . These spaces provided essential comforts, allowing them to rest, eat, and allowed Amilianah to pump breastmilk conveniently, especially during the early days post-birth.

During Uwais’ tracheostomy surgery and subsequent PICU transfer, the RMH offered a sanctuary for the weary parents, easing their physical and mental burdens. With comfortable sleeping arrangements, convenient amenities, and most importantly – proximity to their son, RMH became a lifeline for the exhausted parents.

Reflecting on their experience with RMHC, Amilianah and Haiqal describes their time as a source of comfort, support, and relaxation. Grateful for RMHC’s existence at NUH, Amilianah and Haiqal have expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the invaluable assistance and support extended to them during their darkest hours. Through RMHC, they found not only physical respite but also a sense of connection and unwavering support that sustained them through their journey with Uwais.

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