October 19, 2018
MEET SCARLETTE FIFIELD AND HER FAMILY FROM PILLEY’S ISLAND
It is hard to put into words how a parent feels when their child is born with serious medical issues and the possibility of life-long disabilities. It has to be one of the most stressful words a parent can hear. And for families who don’t live close to the care and resources they need, there is an added stress, distance. RMHC gives families with a sick child what they need most – each other.
On November 21, 2013, Randi Fifield of Pilley’s Island delivered a beautiful baby girl she named Scarlette in St. John’s, 542km from home. It was a beautiful experience too hard to put in words. For the first few hours, everything was perfect! Then suddenly, something changed. Scarlette crashed and needed immediate attention from the medical team. Her joy turned to fear in an instant.
“The next three minutes felt like hours. Thankfully, the doctors were able to stabilize her. They rushed her to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We soon learned that she was visually impaired due to Bilateral Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, she had a cleft lip and palate, a growth defect and she was missing the structure that would affect her equilibrium. One of the worst things any parent can endure is the news that your child has a life-long illness and disabilities. The emotional stress is overwhelming. We knew it would be weeks or months before we would be able to return home to Pilley’s Island and we may not even get home for the holidays” – Randi Fifield
It was then that the family was introduced to the programs and services of Ronald McDonald House. The doctors didn’t know what to expect. One thing they did know was that she would be completely blind and they had no hope that she would ever walk or talk. Over the next four years, during numerous appointments and surgeries, the family have stayed at Ronald McDonald House on 15 occasions totalling 66 nights.
“The support at Ronald McDonald House is an experience like no other. We love our “other house”. We have an amazing bond with the staff and volunteers. It is always nice to know that they remember you and that you have a special place in their heart.” – Randi Fifield
Scarlette has exceeded her doctor’s expectations. She can now talk, a lot. She can walk by herself and she can even spell words and count numbers. “We believe that Scarlette has beaten the odds because of the love and support of her family, friends and the Ronald McDonald House.” – Randi Fifield