Laura’s Story

Laura holding IsaacRonald McDonald House Houston provided a sanctuary for me when my son was at his most vulnerable, and gave me a sense of normalcy for that one moment where I could step away, just have a break, and feel like I was home. The nurses and doctors in the hospital saved Isaac’s life. But Ronald McDonald House Houston saved me.


At eight days old, my son Isaac, was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition. He looked fine to me, but I was told that his life was in serious danger, and that we needed to get to the Emergency Room as soon as possible.  I rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), thinking, hoping that there had been some sort of mistake.  My fears were confirmed but we caught it just in time.


Immediately, we moved to the TCH Intensive Care Unit.  Even though I live near downtown, there was absolutely no way I was leaving my son’s bedside.  There was no way I was even going to go downstairs to the cafeteria.


I remember several nights without sleeping.  The hospital nurses told me I needed a break, that my body was going to shut down if I didn’t rest.  They told me that I qualified to use the Ronald McDonald House, but I was reluctant.  Thinking about rest was the last thing on my mind.  Once I realized that the Ronald McDonald House Houston was literally right across the hall, twenty steps away from my son’s bedside, I was able to step away for a few moments and take a break.  Inside the House, the nurses and volunteers know if a doctor comes by or if anything changes with your child’s status.  I felt safe knowing that If Isaac needed me, I could be there within seconds.


If I hadn’t been able to step away like that, I really think I would have lost my mind.  It was just so intense.  I was living from moment to moment, and that lasted 3 weeks.  For some families it’s shorter, for others much longer, but that doesn’t change the intensity you feel.


I knew that when I left, I’d never be able to “repay” everything the Ronald McDonald House had done for me.  I was just so grateful.  When I heard about the Run for the House, I knew I could get involved in this way.  I was a runner. I could raise money for the House and make a difference.  You can’t heal a sick child with money, but you can keep the families strong enough to care for their children.


-Laura Connely


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Click here if you’d like to learn more about how to get involved with the Trafigura Run for the House or click here to make a donation. Every gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $300,000 by the Trafigura Foundation! 100% of proceeds from the Trafigura Run for the House benefit the children and families of Ronald McDonald House Houston.