I sat down on the bed, and cried my eyes out

On 16th October 2019, my son Adam was born and our lives changed forever. He was a full term baby and I had a normal delivery. So many dreams and plans were crushed the moment he took his first breath. A code blue was called and I never heard my baby cry. Within seconds the midwife passed my son to me for a quick photo and he was taken away to the NICU. The next time I carried my baby was 40 days later.

After my delivery, I was discharged on the second day and sent back home. Our son Adam continued to stay in the NICU. Travelling back and forth from Woodlands to NUH was no joke. After childbirth, the usual confinement regime was no longer applicable to me. I was going back and forth to the hospital just to give my son breastmilk. I didn’t follow anything that a normal mother would do after delivery. After seven days in the NICU, we received a call that Adam was not able to breathe on his own and that he had to be intubated. They also told us that he would be transferred to the PICU as he was a full term baby. The day Adam went to the PICU my husband and I were a total mess. We were all over the place, confused, angry, and broken. 

I remember so clearly I received a call and I knew it was the hospital but since I was next to my baby I refused to answer the call. Then my husband received a call. It was from Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Singapore. We had no clue what this was all about, so my husband and I took our time and went.We were told that they were located right next to the PICU. When the staff explained how the family room worked, nothing sank into my head. It was just all words blah blah… I was so overwhelmed with all that was happening with my baby. The next day again RMHC called. I was getting irritated with the calls simply because I didn’t have an ounce of energy to speak with anyone. Once again my husband received the second call and we went back to meet the staff again. I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. They handed us a key. It had a tag “B”. We were brought to the room and showed around. It had an attached bathroom and a television, it was a fully air conditioned room. We then toured all around the house, to the kitchen and all other amenities such as the laundry area. 

I sat down on the bed and sobbed my eyes out. I was in complete disbelief that we were given this access to be next to our son  in the PICU. The Ronald McDonald House has a total of four rooms. All the rooms were occupied by different families and we shared all the facilities together as a little community.

I saw families come and go. Kids who recovered and left. Kids who moved out of the PICU to normal wards. I saw kids who passed on and I saw how the family was torn to pieces. Six months passed by in the blink of an eye. Six beautiful months I lived in the Ronald McDonald House where the staff became my family. The room became my house. I was provided with so much comfort and care for six months with no charges. We received and received and received all the support we needed every single day. Everyday Adam got worse and there were more and more problems. We came to know that he was born with multiple congenital birth defects. I would come out of the PICU and head back to RMHC and the staff would be there to hold me in their arms as I cried my heart out. I spent days and nights talking to their volunteers and they became my family. My husband and I stayed there together till April 2020 and then Covid-19 came.

I remember staying there alone as the circuit breaker measures were being put in place and there were so many changes, and only one parent was allowed to stay. Within weeks all the families from the other rooms had moved out and I was the last person staying there. RMHC had a meeting to address how they could help me cos they were no longer able to keep the place open due to the circuit breaker. I was so blessed to have lived there for six months. Every day I got to be next to my son who was so critically ill. They even promised me that when the Circuit breaker was over I would be given my room back so long as Adam was still in the PICU. I prayed so hard for the day to move back to be with my son. However Adam was tired of fighting and he passed away on 2nd May of 2020.

The days I spent at the RMHC taught me so much. I live in a four room flat and always complained that I should get a bigger house. For Six months at RMHC when I spent most of the time in my room or in the PICU, versus the days when I went back to my home; suddenly,my house seemed so huge. Everything seemed different. We spend too much time on the material aspects of life that we fail to see all the simple things that actually mattered. Food on the table, that was always something available at the dining area in RMHC. There were always sponsors giving the families so much. Festive occasions never went by without a dinner from a sponsor. They even gave us the pleasure to invite our own extended family to join in as well. I never knew such an organisation ever existed. I started sharing with my friends and colleagues and they were all shocked too. 

RMHC will always and forever be something we close to our hearts. Today, I see the purpose of my son’s birth and death. He has made his parents better individuals. We have so much more to give now. We see life differently and this was only possible because of the family we had at RMHC. Although we didn’t get to take our baby back home like how were thought we would. The days spent at the Ronald McDonald House would definitely be the six most beautiful months of our lives. 

Adam’s Daddy & Mummy 

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Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore
UEN No.: S98SS0006C

Personal Data Protection Act Notice

1. Policy Statement

At Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore (“RMHC Singapore”), we respect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals’ personal data. We are committed to implementing policies, practices and processes to comply with the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (“PDPA”) and other applicable laws.

This Data Protection Notice (“Notice”) sets out the basis which RMHC Singapore may collect, use, disclose or otherwise process personal data of persons in accordance with the applicable personal data protection laws and regulations. This Notice applies to personal data in our possession or under our control, including personal data in the possession of organisations which we have engaged to collect, use, disclose or otherwise process personal data for our purposes.

The PDPA sets out rules for governing the collection, use and disclosure of personal data by organisations. As defined in the PDPA, personal data refers to data, whether true or not, about an individual who can be identified (a) from that data; or (b) from that data and other information to which the organisation has or is likely to have access.

Unless otherwise defined, terms used in this Notice shall have the meaning given to them in the PDPA.

2. Collection, Usage and Disclosure of Personal Data

Except where collection, use and/or disclosure of your personal data is permitted or required by the PDPA or other laws, we generally only collect, use and disclose your personal data if it is provided to us voluntarily by you directly or via a third party who has been duly authorised by you to disclose your personal data to us (your “authorised representative”) after (i) you (or your authorised representative) have been notified of the purposes for which the data is collected, and (ii) you (or your authorised representative) have provided written consent to the collection, use and/or disclosure of your personal data for those purposes. We may also collect, use and/or disclose personal data without consent as permitted or required by the PDPA or other laws.

We will seek your consent before collecting any additional personal data and before using your personal data for a purpose which has not been notified to you (except where permitted or authorised by law).

2.1 Types of Personal Data Collected

The types of personal data we may collect from you are generally as follows:

  • Basic personal information: Name, gender, title, age or date of birth, organization, occupation or job responsibilities, phone number, mailing address, email address, contact details, details of family members (including contact details), education qualifications, volunteering experience and background, availability, language skills and other skills, and hobbies and interests;
  • Special categories of personal information: religious or other beliefs, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital status, biometric data, audio-visual information and health or medical history;
  • Registration data: newsletter or mailing list requests, event or seminar registrations, dietary preferences, subscriptions, downloads ,and usernames/passwords;
  • Customer service data: personal data received from partners or donors in respect of employees, volunteers, or other individuals affiliated with RMHC Singapore known to our partners, invoicing details and payment history, and other feedback from our partners or donors;
  • Marketing data: data (including photographs and video recordings) about our beneficiaries, and individual participation in volunteer drives, donation drives, our activities and events, credentials, associations, volunteer interests and preferences;
  • Compliance data: government identifiers (such as the NRIC No., FIN and passport numbers), copies of identification documents (such as the NRIC, work pass or passport), and data collected for completing anti-money laundering compliance procedures and related donor due diligence; and
  • Device data: Computer Internet Protocol (IP) address, unique device identifier (UDID), cookies and other data linked to a device, and data about usage of our Sites (Usage Data)

2.2 Purpose of Collecting Personal Data

We may collect and use the personal data we have collected for the following purposes:

  • To recruit volunteers and donors, and to consider individuals for employment and contractor opportunities, and manage on-boarding procedures (for both employees and volunteers);
  • To conduct background checks and due diligence on job candidates, employees, contractors, volunteers and donors, as well as on organisations which we partner with, and to address compliance and legal obligations;
  • To manage and administer employment relationships and employee benefits;
  • To manage our operations and administer our relationships with volunteers, donors, beneficiaries and users of our programs, and business partners;
  • To organise and implement charitable and fundraising activities, events and programs, including assessing whether a potential beneficiary is suitable for receiving assistance from us;
  • To make our websites more intuitive and easy to use, and to protect the security and effective functioning of our websites and information technology systems;
  • To provide marketing services, such as providing volunteers, donors, partners (or other persons who have provided us with their personal data) and the general public with information about events or services that may be of interest to them, including information about our charitable activities, events and programs, and groups of specific interest (e.g., specific types of beneficiaries); and
  • To respond to, handle and/or process queries, requests, applications, complaints, and feedback;
  • To comply with internal reporting, any applicable laws, regulations, codes of practice, guidelines, rules or compliance procedures, or to assist in law enforcement, investigations and/or requests from governmental agencies or regulators, court orders or other legal process, and to defend against legal claims

If you choose not to provide us with your personal data for the purposes listed above, you may submit a request in writing or via email to our Data Protection Officer at the contact details provided below or indicate in the personal data collection form submitted to us (if any). Depending on the complexity of the request and its impact to our relationship with you, we will not collect or, within 30 days of our receipt of your request, cease using and/or disclosing your personal data in accordance with your request.

The purposes listed above may continue to apply even in situations where your relationship with us (for example, pursuant to a contract) has been terminated or altered in any way, for a reasonable period thereafter (including, where applicable, a period to enable us to enforce our rights under any contract with you).

2.3 Disclosure of Personal Data

We may disclose some of the personal data we have collected to any or all of the following organisations outside of RMHC Singapore, for the purposes stated above:

  • Ronald McDonald House Charities, Global;
  • our business partners (e.g., hospitals where we conduct charitable activities, events or programs);
  • suppliers and service providers (e.g., financial institutions, payroll service providers, infrastructure and IT services providers, third-party legal and financial consultants, providers of external venues where we host activities or events);
  • volunteers or donors; and
  • government agencies, regulators or other government-affiliated organisations.

3. Withdrawal of Consent; Access and Correction of your Personal Data

You may withdraw consent and request us to stop using and/or disclosing your personal data for any or all of the purposes listed above by submitting your request using the form provided below, or by clicking on the “unsubscribe” button in any online or email service provided by us.

If you wish to obtain access or make corrections to the personal data that has been collected by us, you may also do so by submitting a duly completed copy of the form provided below.

We will respond to any requests from you as soon as reasonably possible but will require a reasonable amount of time to process your request.

If you are withdrawing your consent, we will notify you of the consequences of such withdrawal including any legal consequences which may affect your rights and obligations to us. Depending on the scope and nature of your request, we may not be in a position to continue providing our services to you upon your withdrawal of consent and we will, in such circumstances, notify you before processing your request. You can choose to cancel your withdrawal of consent by informing our Data Protection Officer in writing or by email. In general, we shall seek to process your request within ten (10) business days of receiving it.

If you are submitting any access or correction requests, please note that a reasonable administration fee may be charged in connection with an access request. If any such fee is applicable, we will notify you before processing your request. If we are unable to process your access or correction request, we will generally inform you of the reasons for not being able to do so (except where we are not required to provide such reasons under the PDPA). Should we not be able to respond to your request within thirty (30) days after receiving your request, we will inform you in writing within thirty (30) days of the time by which we will be able to respond to your request.

Finally, please note that your withdrawal of consent does not affect our right to continue collecting, using and/or disclosing your personal data where collection, use or disclosure without consent is permitted or required under the PDPA or other applicable laws.

4. Accuracy of Personal Data

We generally rely on personal data provided by you (or your authorised representative). In order to ensure that your personal data is current, complete and accurate, please update us
if there are changes to your personal data by informing our Data Protection Officer in writing
or via email at the contact details provided below.

5. Protection of Personal Data

We have implemented appropriate security precautions to protect your personal data that is in our possession or under our control to prevent unauthorised access, use, disclosure, or similar risks. These include administrative, physical and technical measures such as antivirus protection software, encryption and the use of privacy filters to secure all storage and transmission of personal data by us and policies which restrict the disclosure of personal data both internally and externally only on a need-to-know basis.

Please, however, be aware that no method of transmission over the Internet or method of electronic storage is completely secure. While security cannot be guaranteed, we strive to protect the security of your information and are constantly reviewing and enhancing our information security measures.

6. Retention of Personal Data

We will cease to retain your personal data or remove the means by which the data can be associated with you, as soon as it is reasonable to assume that such data is no longer needed for any business or legal purposes in RMHC Singapore.

7. Transfer of Personal Data

We generally do not transfer your personal data to countries outside of Singapore. However, if we do so, we will obtain your consent for the transfer to be made and take steps to ensure that your personal data continues to receive a standard of protection that is at least comparable to that provided under the PDPA.

8. Data Protection Officer

Should you have any feedback or enquiries relating to this Notice, or if you wish to make any complaint or request in respect of your personal data, please contact our Data Protection Officer at:

Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, National University Hospital, Main Building Level 4, Singapore 119074.

Telephone No.: +65 6778 1934
Email: [email protected]

9. Effect of Notice; Review and Revision

This Notice applies in conjunction with any other notices, contractual clauses and consent forms that apply in relation to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal data by us.
This Notice may be revised from time to time without any prior notice. You may determine if any such revision has taken place by referring to the date on which this Notice was last updated. Your continued use of our services constitutes your acknowledgement and acceptance of such changes

10. General

This Notice is prepared pursuant to the PDPA and governed by the laws of Singapore.

Access, Correction and Withdrawal Form: Click here to access the Access, Correction and Withdrawal Form.

Last Updated on: August 28th, 2020.