Hi my name is Vicki Harmon. My husband Shane and I stayed at the Ronald McDonald house in Missoula for three and a half months. We spent 6 years in fertility clinicsin California. We were told our dreams of becoming parents were not possible. So for eight years we moved on with life.
Then in the summer of 2009, we were blessed with a pregnancy. Our joy and shock was huge. Then on December 29, 2009 things took a turn for the worst. I went into labor 4 months early. I delivered our son David Elwyn Scott Harmon on December 31, 2009 at 4:58 p
m. He weighed 1 pounds and 5 ounces. He was unable to breathe on his own and his eyes were still fused shut. We were unable to hold him in our arms. The doctors also told us his chances of survival were slim to none. Here was the baby of our dreams fighting a battle for his life, and there wasn't a thing we could do to make it better.
In the 1st week of his life it was touch and go. On the seventh day David was not responding to the care of the nurses. They were bagging him to force air into his under developed lungs. So I stood at his bedside in fear. I walked over to his isolette opened the little door. I told my son if he was going to pass away. Then at least he could do is open his eyes and look at me. And he opened his eyes for the 1st time and looked at me. From then on he fought hard and brave. David was on a ventilator for 5 weeks. He had bronchopulmonary dysplasia. And was given round after round of steroids to help him grow lung tissue.3 weeks after delivery David developed Necrotizing enterocolitis and had a drain tube inserted in his abdominal area. He also had intraventricular hemorrhaging onthe brain. Then he had heart surgery to close his patent ductus arteriosus when he was 2 months old.
After his last surgery our son just blossomed. His skin color improved and he began to really put on weight. Then he was moved to an open crib and we were able to hold him often. And teach him how to breastfeed. I cant express the joy my husband and I felt at watching our little one grow and expand his horizons. Now we can finally know our dream of being parents to a wonderful little boy named David.
I wish to thank all of the employees and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald house for all of their love and support. When I was discharged from the hospital I was able to be close to my son. I will never forget the compassion I felt from those around us in our time of need. We had a warm bed to sleep in. A hot shower to cry in. And many times a good meal and treats to eat at the end of harrowing days. If you needed to talk there was always someone to listen. And there were other parents to share your joys and sorrows.
I dont know what I would have done if it hadn't been for the Ronald McDonald house. So for anyone looking for something good to do with their time this is something very worthily. To share of ones self is the ultimate gift. Thank you.