HOW TO STAY

The Clark Family

“While on my way to work at the firehouse, my wife called me frantically informing me that her water had broken. It couldn’t be, we still had 6 ½ weeks to go! We anxiously drove to the hospital-torn between joy and worry. After arriving, our doctor informed us that my wife would be transported to MUSC in Charleston. As she was being transported, I made last minute preparations for our 4 other children, ages 17, 14, 6 and 4 years old.

Clara Grace was born at 33 weeks and 4 days, weighing 4 pounds, 6 ounces. She had insufficient lung function, and we were told she would require an extended stay at MUSC. Before we knew it, my wife was being discharged from the hospital. Discharged? What about our baby, let alone the monster flood outside encompassing all of South Carolina. Our nurse recognized our worries and recommended we contact the Ronald McDonald House, and before we knew it, we had our own room.

Our stay at the House was a humbling experience of community. The room we were given was one of the newly added rooms, clean and private. But the experience outside of our room was, quite simply, the most notable demonstration of people taking care of people that I have ever experienced. Volunteers came in to cook nearly every meal and the staff provided the warmth, friendly conversation and genuine interest our family so badly needed. The Ronald McDonald House gave us so much more than a place to sleep, they gave us a home away from home and a peace of mind so that we could concentrate on our little Clara Grace.”

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