The Chrisholm Family
A week before Christmas, Cassey and Robert welcomed two little ones into the world, but within minutes, both Sierra and Robert Jr. were air-lifted to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.
The Mwenda Family
When Carley and Victor found out they were pregnant with quadruplets, they were overjoyed and excited to become new parents. Carley and Victor live in Tanzania, a country in east Africa, but after finding out they were pregnant, they decided to travel to Gainesville, Florida, to be near the world-renowned UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and closer to Carley’s parents, who live in Florida.
They knew no one in the Gainesville area, so they came to the Ronald McDonald House. “Neither of us had slept much for days before we arrived,” said Carley. “We were also a little overwhelmed with all of the logistics of the hospital stay. We were grateful for a place to land while our babies were in the NICU.”
The “quads,” the nickname they were given at the House, were born at only 27 ½ weeks, but since then, have grown and are doing wonderfully! “Evie is our little vocal girl…from squeaks to grunts and everything in between. Eliana takes everything in with her half-moon eyes and her elfin smile.
Haven is our cherub, happily sleeping and smiling. Gabriel is Mr. Big Eyes and watches the world with curiosity. They have wonderfully fat little baby thighs and are growing constantly! Right now they all enjoy lifting their heads as much as possible, trying to roll over, and learning about the world around them.”
The meals provided by Visiting Chefs were one of the things Carley and Victor appreciated most. “What an unexpected blessing! We did not know that this would be provided and honestly didn’t know how much this would be a help as we traveled back and forth to the hospital.”
“To have a safe ‘home’ for those two months was incredible! The room was more than expected, as was the whole house. It was clean, organized, open, decorated, and welcoming.”
After 56 days at the House, Carley and Victor headed home to be with their healthy little babies, but they still stop by the Ronald McDonald House whenever they’re in town.