Her baby Ethan was born weighing just 1 pound, 4 ounces. He was a micro-preemie. And Lydia was a single mom, three hours from her home, facing a scary, uncertain situation alone.
But when she checked into the Ronald McDonald House to make sure Ethan wasn’t alone in his fight, she realized she wasn’t going to be either. “The people at the House truly became my family,” said Lydia. “Because of the staff and volunteers, I had little to worry about beyond my baby. 100% of me could care for him.”
And when a mom is frightened for their child, no one understands more than another mother going through the same emotions. “The other mothers at the House were a huge support for me and we offered each other what many others couldn’t – complete understanding of the fear, sadness and moments of happiness we all felt. We’d walk over to the hospital together, check in on each other’s child’s progress and when one of us couldn’t sleep, we’d all go down to the kitchen and bake brownies – even if it was 2 a.m.”
Because she was steps from the hospital, Lydia spent every second possible at Ethan’s side. She’d hold him, rock him and comfort him — the human touch that doctors say preemies need most in order to thrive. Each day he grew stronger and today, Ethan is a happy, healthy and rambunctious one year old boy.
Looking at Ethan, who clocks in over 20 lbs, you’d never know he was born weighing only 1lb 4 oz. The energy and strength Lydia gained from her newfound family at the Ronald McDonald House, she says, was given all to Ethan.