SPOKANE, Wash. – They are some of Spokane’s temporary residents: the families of hospital patients who come from out-of town for medical care.
For a quarter of a century, the Ronald McDonald House of Spokane has opened its doors for them. Currently, 22 families are staying at the house. They come from four different states. Some families have children battling cancer, others are at the house following a trauma of some sort that required surgery.
Eight families, including the Hylton family of Omak, Washington, are staying at the Ronald McDonald House after having premature babies.
Roxan Hylton had her twin boys prematurely at 28 weeks. They were barely three pounds and needed help breathing at first. Early on, doctors weren’t sure if one was going to pull through. But eight weeks later, the boys are healthy and doing much better. Each now weighs about five and a half pounds.
The twin boys’ big sister, Summer, 3, has been making friends with everyone at the house, including a fourth grader battling cancer. Roxan said it’s that sense of community she is most thankful for.
“Just having other people here, going through the same thing, it makes it so much better,” Hylton said. “You just feel like your babies are going to be okay.”
The Ronald McDonald House of Spokane offers free lodging, food and transportation. But staff say the Hylton family isn’t alone in its sentiment: all families seem to be most appreciative of the other people in the house.
“It’s not really what we do for the families, but what they do for one another,” Ronald McDonald House communications director Colleen Fox said. “Being here and being able to talk with other families who are going through circumstances similar to their own is really the greatest thing that the house provides.”
Roxan Hylton plans on being back home in Omak with her three kids by Mothers Day. But for moms who will be spending the day in the house, the staff is planning a big day of celebration on that day.
The Ronald McDonald House of Spokane has developed a “Mother's Day Wish List” to help honor the moms staying at the house. For more, click here.