Guest Story

The Mistry Family, from Virden, Manitoba, stayed at Ronald McDonald House and visited the Ronald McDonald Family Room while their premature sons received life-saving medical treatment. Pictured (clockwise from top left) Zeus, Parmeg, Zorav and Shirav

“When I went into pre-term labour in February, we rushed to the Brandon hospital. We were soon informed that we were being moved to Winnipeg because of the complexity of my pregnancy. I was carrying twins, one of which was diagnosed with unexplained intrauterine growth restriction. This means that my unborn baby was considered smaller than it should have been due to not growing at a normal rate inside the womb. It was at this point that the fear of the unknown set in. Not only were we scared of being first-time parents, but we also knew we had a long journey ahead with no place to call home. 

When we arrived in Winnipeg, my husband, Zeus, immediately started looking into accommodation options. At this point, our anxiety was uncontrollable. We hadn’t planed for this. My sons were early, they were high-risk and on top of that, we were away from home and well outside our comfort zone.  

I was admitted to the HSC Women’s Hospital where I spent five days before giving birth to our precious twin boys. Zorav was born weighing 4 lbs, while Shirav weighed in at only 2 lbs, 6 oz. During this time, the doctors informed us that we should find a place to stay in Winnipeg for the foreseeable future, until Zorav and Shirav were strong enough to make the trip home. 

A nurse at the Brandon hospital had given us some information about Ronald McDonald House Charities Manitoba (RMHC Manitoba). At the time, we were very uncertain about how long our stay in Winnipeg would be, if RMHC Manitoba would be able to accommodate us and what the comfort level would be like for us post delivery. All those questions were answered once Zeus visited Ronald McDonald House. He was so excited about the facilities available. We were now on the waiting list and once admitted, we could stay as long as we needed.  

The boys were born premature, but thankfully, genetically healthy. We suspect the pregnancy was a case of superfetation. This occurs when a second, new pregnancy occurs during an initial pregnancy. Babies born from superfetation are often considered twins since they may be born during the same birth on the same day.  

The best thing about RMHC Manitoba was that they were able to accommodate ourselves and my mom as well. They truly allow your whole family to support you and your children. We cannot say enough about the staff and volunteers at RMHC Manitoba. They were kind, understanding, generous and always ready to help.  

During our stay at Ronald McDonald House, we were able to make strong friendships. I became really close with another NICU mom that we would see every day and talk about our babies’ progress. There was this feeling of comfort in knowing you are not alone. It was really nice to have other families around you who understand what you’re going through. We were able to share their joy and support each other through our daily challenges.  

It’s weird when you think about it, but staying at a Ronald McDonald House or a Ronald McDonald Family Room makes your own problems seem so small when you look at the bigger picture. When you come home to the familiar faces, you forget all your worries and share happy moments with the new family you have made.  

It’s hard to put the impact RMHC Manitoba has had on our family into words. They provided us with a safe place to get through the tough times together. It’s true that they keep families together when it’s needed most.  

Among the many wonderful things RMHC Manitoba gives us, the top two things in our opinion are:  

  1. As a parent, all you have to think about is your children. Everything else is taken care of for you by the amazing staff and volunteers at RMHC Manitoba. 
  2. At RMHC Manitoba, you’re assured that you’re not alone and there’s always support. Staying here gives you the feeling of a strongly knit community, a family. To us, the H in RMHC Manitoba means Home.” 

-Parmeg Mistry