MANY children missed the occasional McDonalds treat during the Covid-19 lockdown but for others, the drop in revenue for a charity supported by the fast food chain was an unappetising prospect.
The Ronald McDonald House charity provides accommodation for up to 20 families at a time to be near their sick children in Crumlin Children’s Hospital. However, the effects of the pandemic means that the charity could be underfunded by up to €500,000 this year.
The Quish family from Limerick had reason to be hugely grateful for the facility when their son Noah became very ill in 2017.
His mother, Una Quish, explained, “Noah spent a lot of time in Limerick Hospital but he kept deteriorating and the decision was made to send him to Crumlin for more specialised treatment.
“Thankfully, just before we left for Crumlin, a lovely lady in a room next to us told us about the Ronald Mc Donald House. She gave me a number and I rang for a room. We arrived at the house and the staff were so welcoming and understanding and made everything so much easier.
“I don’t know what we would have done as a family without the Ronald McDonald House. We were able to stay together as a family near to the hospital, with our daughter Leah, who was five at the time. This was even more vital when Leah and Noah’s dad had to go back to work.
“When Noah had to have open heart surgery, I was distraught. I sat in the kitchen that morning so upset. There was a team of volunteers cooking at the time and they just showed me such kindness to help me make it through.
“Leah also had a birthday in Ronald McDonald House. I wanted to keep things as normal as possible for her and the team of volunteers arranged everything. It was such an amazing day,” Una recalled.
Hospitals have had to restrict visits to one parent, and the House provides a haven for families between visits. This service has been vital for families of children with long-term illnesses who cannot rely on the support network of extended family during the Covid crisis.
Text HOUSE to 50300 to donate €4 or alternatively send a ‘hug’ or Barróg to someone you care about for €10. The ‘Barróg’ is a soft huggable bunny rabbit that can be sent as a gift, providing vital funds for the Ronald McDonald House.