A Place of Unconditional Love
November 2nd started like every other Friday, I was at the platform waiting for my morning commuter train. It was a good day. My wife and I had recently relocated from our home in Singapore to India where I was managing a new project; our daughter was studying overseas in Buffalo in her junior year at the University of Buffalo. It was like every other Friday, until my cell phone rang with a call from my wife and I answered the call. Nothing could ever prepare me for what happened next. My wife was frantic and crying as she said the words, “Our daughter has met with an accident, she was struck by a hit and run driver. Her injuries are very serious; she is in critical condition”.
My mind went blank, almost frozen. All I knew was I wanted to be with my daughter and my wife and I needed to get her ASAP. Our daughter had a brain bleed and was all alone. I left the platform, went home and got on the phone to make the arrangements to get from India to Buffalo, New York. Our journey to Buffalo took 36 horrible hours. At every layover we were placing calls to the hospital to get updates on our daughter’s condition; while in the air our daughter was rushed in for emergency brain surgery. My mind was in a standstill. I am not sure where the strength came from to make this journey and reach our daughter in one piece, but together, my wife and I were at our daughter’s beside at ECMC by 3:00pm on November 3rd.
Our daughter was broken, still unconscious from that horrible night and covered in bandages. The next 5 days were a blur, spending all our time with our daughter with short sleeping breaks at a nearby hotel. We felt paralyzed and terrified at the same time. The UB International Department told us about a place called the Ronald McDonald House and later that day our social worker at ECMC referred us to the House. We were skeptical not really understanding what kind of place it was going to be or if it would be the right place for us. We took a chance and went to visit the House and met with the House Manager. Imagine our surprise when we pulled up to a beautiful mansion; it was amazing. Lynn was gracious and so welcoming. Something clicked, whether it was instinct or something else but I knew that yes, this is the place we want to be and more importantly, this is the place we need to be. The next day, we packed up and moved to the Ronald McDonald House.
Slowly we began to meet all the wonderful people, staff, volunteers and other guests, who make the House feel like home. The support my wife and I received was amazing, from transportation back and forth to the hospital, meals, a beautiful suite, kindness, compassion and the right conversation when we needed cheering up or someone to lean on.
The Ronald McDonald House has been our home since November. As my wife and I sit at the kitchen table each day (our favorite spot), I never imagined such a place was possible. My wife and I came to the House in a tragic state of mind. For us to be able to focus solely on our daughter, we needed support. What we receive at the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House was precisely that and much more.
We are thankful and grateful to each of the staff and volunteers at the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House in particular and the RMHC organization in general for making it a dream place for us which will ever be entrenched in our minds for the rest of our life.
The Buffalo Ronald McDonald House is a place of unconditional love.
– Ramanadhan Krishnan