The Schnur Family
“Nobody realizes what people go through when they hear ‘Your baby may not make it,’” murmurs a tearful Hannah Schnur, “or when the doctors don’t know how things are going to go. It’s hard.”
In early May 2015, what was supposed to be a joyous occasion instead marked the beginning of a journey that no parent should ever have to experience.
Hannah Schnur and her fiancé, Dennis Gallivan, were told throughout her pregnancy that their baby was healthy, but when Max was born, Max was not a healthy baby. His medical problems were overwhelming. Instead of cozy at home being snuggled by friends and family, the first three months of Max’s life were spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Woman & Children’s Hospital where Hannah and Dennis didn’t know if Max would live.
His heart wasn’t working well and his blood pressure kept dropping. He had trouble breathing, and because of a problem with his jaw, doctors had difficulty inserting a breathing tube. He had to have surgery to fix his jaw. His spine is malformed. He had to have surgery on his colon. A stroke that he suffered before he was born caused brain damage. He has no sense of smell and may not be able to see or hear.
Hannah and Dennis were living a nightmare that was unimaginable.
But through it all, there was a place for them to seek solace, comfort and a “home cooked” meal. That place was the Ronald McDonald House in Buffalo. For 101 nights, 780 West Ferry became their home and refuge, a place where other families understand. “They may be going through something different, but they know what it feels like,” Hannah said. “I feel better knowing there’s someone else to talk to.”
Mommy and daddy are only 5 minutes away from Max and that helps Max too. “If he gets really cranky, a lot of times the nurses can’t get him to calm down, but I can,” Hannah said. “He knows I’m there. I thank God every single day for him.”