Scott & Kennedy Oakwell were expecting a baby girl in June 2014. After a routine check up, Kennedy found out she had preeclampsia. An ambulance took her to Mercy Hospital and for the remainder of her pregnancy she would be on bed rest.

At 28 weeks Ruthanne Loy was born weighing 1 lb. 10 oz. She spent 78 days in the NICU while mom and dad were close by.

“Without the Des Moines Ronald McDonald House, we would not have been able to visit our own daughter everyday in the hospital.”

Ruthanne Oakwell 2The Ronald McDonald House helps families stay together during the crisis of childhood illness or injury by providing a home-away-from-home at little or no cost to families. The House offers stability for families, so they can focus all of their time and energy on the health of their child, by relieving the worry of where to go in an unfamiliar city with a place to stay that is close to their child, with all the comforts of home.

“Scott and I were in a state of shock and grief after her birth and could not have been more humbled and grateful for the Ronald McDonald House, which was our home-away-from-home for nearly 3 months.”

Families rely on each other for comfort and support. Late night therapy sessions with other RMH residents help families cope with the difficult stressors at hand.

“There were other NICU families staying in the house at the time, and talking with them was our main source of healing from the devastating experience of having a micro preemie.”