The Bartle Family, Hawke's Bay
The Bartle family first came to Ronald McDonald House Auckland (RMHA) in 2012 when mum Rachael was pregnant with Cameron (Cam). Parents Rachael and Nick, along with their older son Cory and Nana Lyn traveled up to Auckland, knowing that baby Cam would be born with a cardiac condition. It was a long journey from the Hawkes Bay for this little family, but to ensure Cam had the best treatment they needed to be close to the specialists at the National Children’s Hospital.
The Bartles have many warm memories from their visits to the House, but the most memorable was Cory’s second birthday. Rachael said that, “everyone at the House made such an effort to make it a special day for Cory”. Rachael also speaks fondly of how the amazing camaraderie in the House helped her family during their stays. “Everyone here is so kind; we are all walking the same journey, just at different stage. It’s comforting to be able to come home and spark up a conversation with anyone, we just relate.”
The Bartle’s most recent stay began back in November 2015 when a ten-day stay turned in to 47 as Cam’s surgery didn’t go to plan. After a few weeks at RMH dad Nick had to return to the Hawkes bay for work, this was tough for the family but thanks to RMH he was able to come back and visit during the weekends. “The boys loved having him there, it was always the highlight of their week when Nick came to stay” said Rachael. Thankfully ‘Super Nana’ was able to stay on with the family. “Having her there was amazing, she relieved me, and even stayed on the ward every night, ensuring there was always someone to look after the boys,” said Rachael. During this stay the family saw another milestone for Cory as he started school. “The one-on-one tutoring was amazing, I have nothing but praise for Marion, Cory has even jumped up a year because of the RMHA School!” said Rachael.
Overall RMHA has been amazing for the Bartle family, especially Cam’s recovery. “As soon as we got Cam off the wards and into the House he was a different kid, running around the House having fun with his brother, something he never did on the ward”, said Rachael. Family dinner nights at the House were a highlight for the family “It’s a god send to have dinner ready for you after a long day on the ward, not thinking about what to eat is such a relief”. The House has been great for older brother Cory, not only has it kept him entertained and distracted whilst they focused on Cam’s recovery, but it has also enabled him to understand what is going on and how fragile Cam is.
All in all the Bartle family have stayed at the House ten times in the past four years, and every time they bring the whole family, including ‘Super Nana’ Lyn. “Any time we come up we bring everyone, we’re a family, we stay together and RMH makes that possible, without it I don’t know where we would be, I don’t know if we would even be here.” said Rachael. The Bartle family will continue to stay at the House during Cam’s routine checkups, and RMH will continue to support them for as long as they need us.