Family say thank you to Evelina London's Ronald McDonald House

Posted on Friday 2nd July 2021
Family supported by accommodation at Ronald McDonald House

Noam and his parents

Just a few minutes’ walk from our children’s hospital Ronald McDonald House Evelina London is a 59 bedroom ‘home away from home’ providing families with the ability to remain close to their child whilst receiving care.

Families stay at the Ronald McDonald House Evelina London for an average of 20 nights though many, like Willian Oliveira and Vanina Sosa whose three-year-old son Noam has spent much of his life at Evelina London, stay much longer.

Noam was born with a rare, congenital muscle disorder called nemaline myopathy and has spent 10 months in different hospitals, including more than six months at Evelina London. Noam’s dad Willian said: “Noam’s condition has meant he has had to spend long stretches at Evelina London’s children’s hospital, as our local hospital in Brighton doesn’t have a paediatric intensive care unit.

“Vanina and I take turns being at his side so he isn’t alone, so having a Ronald McDonald House is essential for us. When one of us is with Noam, the other can go to the House to eat, shower and rest.”

Willian said: “It can be so stressful when your child is in hospital, so having somewhere comfortable and welcoming so close to the hospital helps to put our mind at rest. The Ronald McDonald House allows us to focus on Noam’s recovery, which is the most important thing to us.

“It is an amazing place. All of the staff there are so kind, from the management, to the receptionists, to the cleaners and security.

We’re so grateful to the staff at Evelina London and Ronald McDonald House Evelina London for all that they’ve done for all of us.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation and support at specialist children’s hospitals across the country. The House, which opened in 2016, is particularly important for families whose children are being cared for at Evelina London because our many specialist services treat children from across London, south east England and beyond. Without a local Ronald McDonald House, parents may have the expense of hotel accommodation or face a long commute. Government COVID-19 restrictions have made travel even more challenging at times for some families.

The independent charity’s Houses can ease the stress of having a child in hospital and are designed to be more than just a place to sleep. The building has a large day-room, catering facilities, IT access, adaptations to make it fully accessible, a roof garden and every thoughtful accessory to allow families to concentrate on the wellbeing of their child.

The House has recently received a generous donation of £50,000 from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity which will provide families with safe, comforting accommodation and care throughout their child’s stay in hospital this year. Richard Francis, House Manager of Ronald McDonald House Evelina London, said: “COVID-19 has presented frontline services such as ours with unprecedented challenges. It is through donations such as Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity that we have been able to sustain our service and allow families to be close to their child in hospital.