The Shury family from Waitara began their journey with Ronald McDonald House when their twin daughters were prematurely born.
Kate and Pete’s girls were delivered at just 29 weeks in Wellington Hospital, more than 350km away from home.
After Evelyn and Eloise were born, Kate and Pete stayed at Ronald McDonald House just across the road from their baby girls.
Kate had become used to the isolated nature of her hospital room and was anxious about moving into the House. She worried about having to meet new people and dealing with the questions they might ask. These worries quickly disappeared, she was surprised by the care and compassion shown from staff and volunteers. She appreciated that there was no expectation of anything in return.
“Pete literally held my hand when I went into the House because I was so nervous, but it was absolutely fine. Nobody was pushing me for information and they just gave us what we needed. It was a really easy transition,” remembers Kate. “The staff and volunteers had total open love and were just so giving and nurturing.”
Kate and Pete are from the United Kingdom and don’t have any family in New Zealand. Staying together at the House while their daughters were in the hospital meant they could really support each other. “Having a security blanket of family around is really important. It was a different city, different system, different country. Having Pete so close was huge,” said Kate.
Although initially apprehensive about having to meet new people, Kate also found that she developed friendships with other mums in similar situations, creating a great House support network.
Kate and Pete appreciated the facilities the House offered. The shared kitchen and lounge were great when they wanted to be around people. When they wanted to be alone, they could be in their own comfortable, homely room.
The Shury family says that without Ronald McDonald House, the financial strain of travel and accommodation would have made this time in their lives impossible. “Having the House there made such a difference. We absolutely couldn’t have done it otherwise,” said Kate.
Kate and Pete stayed at the House for 5 weeks while their daughters received the medical care needed for their early start to life.
The family is back home in Waitara now and the twins have just turned three. Kate says they are doing really well. “They’re full of beans, cheeky, mischievous, very clever. Gorgeous gorgeous little girls - they’re so cuddly.”
The generosity of the staff and volunteers led Kate and Pete to want to do their own fundraising back in Waitara. Kate decided to pay it forward by having her stunning long curly locks chopped off to raise funds for our Houses. She raised over $1,300 to support other families going through similar journeys.