The McCartney Family
Megan McCartney’s son Max was born four months early and weighed only 1 pound, 7 ounces. The doctors told her that his condition was touch and go. Anything could happen, and he could die.
During this turmoil, Megan was alone.
She lived in Mayville, one and a half hours from Buffalo where her tiny baby was hospitalized. Her family couldn’t stay with her. But thanks to donors like you, the Ronald McDonald House® of Buffalo was there.
“I didn’t have to sit and eat alone,” Megan said. “I didn’t have family in the area, but I met friends at the Ronald McDonald House.”
The other families at the House understood what Megan was going through because they were going through similar problems. It helped to be able to talk to them. “They could comfort me and I could comfort them,” Megan said. “It helps when you have a big thing like that going on in your life to have somebody to talk to who understands. It helps because you’re not going through things alone. They gave me a real sense of family away from home.”
When Max was just eight days old, he suffered a perforated bowel, which can be fatal. He had an operation that left him with an ostomy bag to collect body wastes. When he was three months old, he had more surgeries to reconnect his bowel and repair two hernias. He was hospitalized for a total of four months.
All that while, the Ronald McDonald House supported Megan—and little Max.
“The House was pretty much a savior for us,” Megan said. “The people there treated me like family. They allowed me to be closer to my son—it was all amazing.”
Even if she could have made the long drive daily, the gas and tolls would have been expensive, and a hotel would have been out of the question. She couldn’t work during her pregnancy because of complications, and had to be near her critically ill baby while he was hospitalized in Buffalo.
“Without the House, I wouldn’t have been able to spend as much time with him,” she said. “I think the child needs it as much as the parents, even when they’re just little babies.”
When Megan would say good-bye to Max so that she could get some sleep at the Ronald McDonald House, his oxygen levels would drop.“He knew I was there,” she said. “I think it was helpful to him that I was there.”
Megan wants to thank the donors who helped provide a home and family for her when her baby was so sick and her own home and family were far away.
“You have no idea what it means to people like me,” she said. “It makes everything a little bit easier.”
From Premie to Pitcher! Max is now 6 years old.
Like many boys his age, Max is a big baseball fan. On June 30th, with a little help from the Ronald McDonald House, Max lived a dream and tossed out the first pitch at a Buffalo Bison’s game.
Watch Max and Megan’s story on WKBW-TV.