“It was something we didn’t anticipate,” says Christine Lambert of the day she was airlifted from her home in Whitehorse to BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver. Doctors were concerned about a pre-term labour and delivery, and she needed to leave immediately without knowing what to expect.
After receiving treatment at BC Women’s Hospital, Christine was discharged on the condition that she stay close by for the remainder of her pregnancy. Not knowing where to stay in the city, she checked into a hotel near the airport with her mother Bona and her 19-month-old daughter Isabelle.
Staying in a hotel with an energetic toddler and no play space only added to the stress of being airlifted to an unfamiliar city. When the new Ronald McDonald House BC opened on July 8, 2014, Christine and Bona welcomed the chance to move in and become some of our first guests. “The location is extraordinary,“ said Christine, who found peace of mind staying on hospital grounds. “It’s a comfort zone,” added Bona. “It’s secure, and reduces the pressure and stress.”
For Isabelle, a social butterfly, the House is a place to play with other children and also provides open spaces, play areas, and gardens to run around and explore. For Christine, her husband Roger, and Bona, it is a place to meet other families and know that they are not alone. Most importantly, they can stay together as long as they need to. “Emotional health is so tied to physical health,” said Bona – and providing a safe place for families to heal better is what Ronald McDonald House BC does best.