Ronald McDonald House Houston exists to provide a home away from home to families with seriously ill children that are receiving treatment at a Texas Medical Center institution.
At eight days old my son, Isaac, was rushed to the E.R. at Texas Children’s hospital because of a rare genetic condition. After several nights without sleeping, the hospital nurses told me to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, but I was very reluctant to leave Isaac’s beside. Eventually, I needed to sleep, so I would stay with Isaac until midnight, leave at midnight to go take a shower, a nap, or just breathe for a couple of hours until his next feeding at 4 AM. I knew when I left, that I’d never be able to “repay” everything the Ronald McDonald House had done for me. They 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, take a break, and feel like I was home. But while I was in hospital, I couldn’t help but see a need for more. So many families didn’t have a place to go, to rest, to scream, to sob, while their child was in the ICU. I even saw families sleeping in the hallway. I just feel the need for Ronald McDonald House Houston to grow and provide even more rooms. The nurses and the doctors in the hospital may have saved Isaac’s life. But Ronald McDonald House saved me.
-Laura Connely, RMH Houston mom & Trafigura Run for the House Co-Chair
1. Growing Need for Rooms
In 2015, the average occupancy at the Holcombe House was 95%. The Texas Medical Center pediatric institutions now treat many more patients than they did when Holcombe House was first built, and more growth is projected in the future. If Ronald McDonald House Houston does not expand to add more rooms, our projection data shows that we will exceed 100% capacity by late 2015 – early 2016.
2. High Volume Use of Facility
For 18 years the Holcombe House has seen high-volume use 24/7 for 365 days each year. With 16,754 overnight stays by 578 different families last year, this has resulted in a natural wear and tear on the facility.
3. New Technology Demands
Families staying at the Holcombe House come from different cities, states, and even countries to get the best care for their sick child. Often leaving behind loved ones and work, these families require up-to-date technology in order to stay connected at home.