Published: Apr 10, 2020
Madison Kaloroumakis arrived 10 weeks early to the world, weighing only 2 lbs 6 oz. Her diagnosis of IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction) meant that she faced the first weeks of her life on oxygen, attached to machines, and hooked up to IVs.
And she was far from home. The Kaloroumakis family, from Seaford, Delaware, had to figure out how to be with their daughter at the opposite end of the state from where baby Madison was in the NICU at Christiana Care in Newark. “We were going to have to commute two hours every day to see Madison,” says her mom Amaris.
When Amaris was unable to travel home due to her emergency C-section, her hospital Social Worker recommended the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware. She stayed at the House for 8 weeks.
Amaris says that the best thing about staying at the House was that “it was only 10 minutes away from the NICU and I could travel back and forth once I was cleared to drive.
Her husband, Madison’s dad, George, and older daughter Sarina came on weekends so that the whole family could be together and visit with Madison. During the weekdays, when George and Sarina weren’t visiting, Amaris expressed her gratitude for the support she found at the House, “They always made me feel like I wasn’t alone in the most lonely time of my life… [the staff and volunteers] always reached out to see how we were doing.”
She also found great comfort in the “extra” support she found at the House, including the meals prepared by volunteers, and pet therapy. “Oh, and I loved petting the pups that came to visit!” she shares, “It was the best feeling in the world to cuddle with them.”
For the Kalomourakis family, having the Ronald McDonald House meant being able to be with their newborn daughter during the first weeks of her life. “Without the House, I would not have been able to be with my preemie in her most vulnerable state. I could never have afforded the gas to come back and forth every day for 54 days to be with my little one. I don’t think Madison would have left the NICU as early as she did if it weren’t for me being there every day to hold her and comfort her.”
Madison was discharged from the NICU on November 27, and went home to Seaford with her parents and big sister.
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