11 Sep Bethany’s Story
In order to save her unborn baby, Bethany Weathersby needed the very best medical care. Her baby was diagnosed with fetal anemia and Dr. Kenneth Moise in Houston, Texas offered her child the best chance of survival. But Bethany and her family lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, an 11-hour drive from Houston.
It was not an easy decision, but they had already lost one baby so Bethany, her mom, and youngest son, Asher, packed up and headed to Houston, leaving behind Bethany’s husband and oldest son. Once in Houston, the family made their home inside Ronald McDonald House Houston’s 50-bedroom Holcombe House. While living at the Holcombe House, Bethany received treatment at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and the family made the House their home for the duration of Bethany’s pregnancy.
From a practical standpoint, Ronald McDonald House Houston was a necessity because staying in a hotel for several months would be very expensive. The complimentary meals offered at the House also helped the family save money each day while the shuttle to and from the hospital saved the cost of daily parking at the hospital.
But Bethany says that it was the community at RMH Houston that really made their months away from home bearable. Her youngest son, Asher, was taken out of his pre-school to move to Houston. At the House, he found new friends and made good use of the outdoor playground and indoor playroom. Bethany and her mom were also able to make new friends at the House. Because everyone was facing a serious medical illness, Bethany found it much easier to talk with them and make friends; they could truly empathize with one another.
The family did not know how long they would be in Houston. There was the possibility the baby would not make it and they would be going back to Alabama after a short time, but with the best medical care, the baby and Bethany were both doing well. Bethany’s oldest, Liam, joined his mom in Houston in May once kindergarten was complete.
Together again, both boys flourished at the House. They both attended Summer Camp at Ronald McDonald House Houston. Bethany and her mom tried to plan other activities for them, but Summer Camp with their friends was so much fun, that is all they wanted to do. The camp’s theme changed each week, but the focus was always on learning with hands-on activities and having fun during a weekly field trip.
It was now July. Bethany and the baby were both healthy and Bethany’s husband, Josh, an instructor at the University of Alabama, had the month off and joined the family in Houston. Bethany and her baby made it to week 38, something they had not expected. The family was together and the baby was scheduled to arrive.