Far from home, close in our hearts

Karen Wells
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St. John’s is a long way from home for anyone in this province who doesn’t live within an hour or less driving time from the capital city.

This becomes all the more evident when serious medical situations arise and surgeries or treatments must be carried out at one of the medical facilities in St. John’s. Couple that with the patient being a child and that sets a whole other set of emotions and complications into the mix.

No one plans to have to stay in St. John’s for extended periods of time for medical issues or emergencies. But it happens everyday, and it happens when people least expect it. Such was the case for Matt and Tammy Dwyer of Lewisporte (see related story on page 1A). This past February Tammy was going about her daily life as she awaited the arrival of her twin girls a couple of months down the road. The next moment she was being airlifted to St. John’s to have the babies.

Raquel and Raquia came into this world two months premature but as loved as any two children could be by their doting parents who wanted to be by their side. Tammy was released from the hospital four days after the girls were born on Feb. 3, but Raquel and Raquia were too small and fragile yet to leave the hospital.

As the article indicates, the Ronald McDonald House became a source of comfort for the new parents. They didn’t have to worry about things that might otherwise get in the way of their main priority of being there for their daughters.

The people of this province made Ronald McDonald House a reality for families like the Dwyer’s who have experienced the caring that emanates from this “home away from home” and for those who will find comfort within its walls in the years to come.

The Dwyer’s found a way to show their gratitude to the Ronald McDonald House for all that was provided for them by making donations that will in turn help other families. It’s something each and every one of us has the ability to do either through an in person donation or online through the Ronald McDonald House website.

Whether it’s providing $100 so parents can share bedtime stories with their children; $200 so those families calling the House their temporary home can enjoy Sunday dinner together or $10 so a child can enjoy playing in the sand — every donation counts. Every donation is part of a chain of caring that spans from the tip of Labrador to the shores of Port aux Basques. It’s a chain built from kindness and compassion and one that means the world to families across this province.


—   Karen Wells


Organizations: Ronald McDonald House

Geographic location: Labrador, Port aux Basques

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