November 1, 2013
Meet Thomas St. John and His Mom and Dad, Helen and Killian of Dublin, Ireland
Many Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada and around the world have opened their hearts and doors for families from Newfoundland and Labrador when they have had to travel for medical reasons with their child outside of our province. Now, Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador has shown that same kindness to the Conroy Family, when they found themselves in an emergency situation in a foreign country.
On Thursday August 1st, Helen and Killian Conroy boarded a plane from their home in Dublin, Ireland on a trip to New York City to attend a family wedding. Their plan was to enjoy three days of fun with family and friends before returning to Dublin. This was to be the last trip for Helen before she was due to have their first baby on October 15th.
While in flight, halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, Helen realized that the birth of the baby was imminent. The pilot was informed of a possible medical emergency and was instructed to land at the nearest airport in Goose Bay, NL so that Helen could be brought to a hospital as soon as possible. Once the doctors and nurses confirmed that the situation was stable, Helen was transferred by air ambulance to the Health Science Centre, in St. Johns, NL.
In the early hours of August 12th, Helen gave birth to a beautiful boy, weighing only 3lbs 12.5oz Helen and Killian named their son Thomas St. John, after the city in which he was born.
Due to the fact that Thomas was born 9 weeks premature, he was placed in an incubator in the NICU at the Janeway Children’s Hospital where he could be monitored 24 hours a day by their dedicated staff.
A social worker at the hospital spoke with the family and told them that Ronald McDonald House could help them with a place to stay while Thomas was in the hospital.
“We were blown away by the beautiful rooms, accommodation and facilities. This is the perfect place for families to stay while a child is admitted in the hospital,” said Killian.
The House provided them with comfort and security close to the hospital while Thomas went through the ups and downs of a premature baby’s development and growth.
Killian continued, “We were able to see him all the time and were able to be present for every decision, improvement and set back, as our son grew strong enough to be taken home to Ireland.”
After five long weeks, far from their home and in this wonderful city of St. John’s, NL, Thomas St. John was discharged from the hospital on Friday, September 20th .
“The staff and volunteers and supporters of Ronald McDonald House have looked after us while we were far, far from home. We were given a beautiful home away from home when we needed it the most. We can never repay what Ronald McDonald House has done for us. We will always be grateful.” expressed Killian.
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