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‘Can’t wait to bring our little hero home’

Sheldon and Selina Carroll with their baby, Michael, are grateful to Ronald MacDonald House for the support they’ve received since Michael was born premature on March 23. The Carroll’s represented Ronald MacDonald House families from across the province yesterday, when a hand-crafted thank-you card was placed in every Happy Meal sold yesterday, as part of a nation-wide initiative.
Sheldon and Selina Carroll with their baby, Michael, are grateful to Ronald MacDonald House for the support they’ve received since Michael was born premature on March 23. The Carroll’s represented Ronald MacDonald House families from across the province yesterday, when a hand-crafted thank-you card was placed in every Happy Meal sold yesterday, as part of a nation-wide initiative.

Sheldon and Selina Carroll of Labrador City are thankful for the services of Ronald MacDonald House and showed their appreciation by taking part in a nation-wide event yesterday.

The Carroll’s represented Ronald McDonald House families on Thursday when they visited McDonald’s in Mount Pearl. The couple’s hand-crafted thank-you cards were placed in Happy Meal boxes throughout the day.

As part of a national initiative, McDonald’s restaurants across Canada included personal thank you cards in each Happy Meal order, which were made by 70 families that have stayed at a Ronald McDonald House.

The card Selina made had a drawing of a deep blue heart with their baby Michael’s tiny footprint on one side of the heart.

Sheldon and Selina began staying at Ronald McDonald House on March 23 – three days after baby Michael was born premature, tipping the scales at two lbs, two oz.

Michael was born with a rare birth defect where his esophagus was not connected to his stomach. He has also had other medical complications.

His surgeries started the day of his birth and he remains in the Janeway Children’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit in St. John’s.

“Michael is over ten lbs. now,” Selina said proudly of the couple’s tiny, but courageous, six-month-old baby.

Selina said she and her husband were happy to represent the province’s families that have stayed at Ronald McDonald House.

Located on Clinch Avenue, just a stone’s throw from the Janeway, Selina said Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador is a place where you meet people going through similar struggles.

“It’s comforting and it’s a relief to be here,” she said.

Baby Michael has been in the Janeway Neonatal Intensive Care Unit since he was born on March 23, where he continues to gain weight and get stronger every day.

Every day for the past decade, Canadians have supported Ronald McDonald Houses across the country through McDonald’s Happy Meal donation program that sees ten cents of every Happy Meal purchased going directly to Ronald McDonald House Canada.

The program has helped support 20,000 families every year throughout Canada said Christine Morgan, manager, development and communications, Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Ronald McDonald House families wanted to express their gratitude to those who have helped them stay together while their child is healing,” Morgan said in a press release about Thursday’s event.

The event coincided with the third anniversary of the opening of Ronald McDonald House in this province – the 14th Ronald McDonald House in Canada.

“We’ve come a long way since we originally made the statement that: ‘It’s time to build a Ronald McDonald House for the children and families of Newfoundland and Labrador,’” Gerry Beresford, Ronald McDonald House board chair, said in a recent news release.

Ronald McDonald house draws on a pool of committed volunteers who help families feel at home.

Open 24/7, Ronald McDonald House features many common areas including a large kitchen, family room, television room, resource center, home office, children’s play areas and laundry facilities. The House is open to parents, siblings and at times, extended family members of children receiving medical treatment in St. John’s.

The past three years has been incredible, Morgan said.

“Our House has provided more than 14,000 nights of comfort and care during more than 1,000 family visits, saving families with a sick or injured child more than $2.1M in accommodation costs alone,” she said.

Grateful

Selina and Sheldon are grateful not only to the staff and volunteers at Ronald McDonald House but to the staff at the Janeway’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as well as family and friends at home in Labrador West that have supported them since Michael’s birth.

“Things have been challenging but everybody has been so generous, and loving and thoughtful. All the support we get helps us get through each day,” Selina said.

Sheldon echoes his wife’s gratefulness and looks forward to the day Michael will be well enough to leave the hospital.

“We’re looking forward to coming home as a family. We can’t wait to bring our little hero home,” he said.

danette@nl.rogers.com

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