Ronald McDonald House sees €500k funding shortfall

Their first family home was a house with 16 bedrooms run by a charity, says Martin Foy.
Ronald McDonald House sees €500k funding shortfall
Margaret and Martin after the birth of their twin daughters Muireann and Roisín.

Their first family home was a house with 16 bedrooms run by a charity, says Martin Foy.

Martin's twin daughter, Roisín, needed emergency treatment at Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, after she was born.

The Foy family, from Ballintotas, Co Cork, stayed together in the Ronald McDonald House beside the hospital.

They have stayed there many times since because Roisín, now aged seven, needed 13 separate surgeries.

The family separated after Martin's wife, Margaret, gave birth to twin girls, Roisín and Muireann, in Cork University Maternity Hospital on January 10, 2013.

Roisín, who has congenital heart, spinal, and bowel problems, was not doing too well and needed surgery as soon as possible.

She was taken by ambulance to Our Lady's Hospital the day after she was born and Martin followed by car.

As well as undergoing emergency heart surgery, Roisín underwent several other surgical procedures.

“It became apparent that we would need to stay in the hospital for some time and that became a problem for us," says Martin.

Another father who had seen their  child born in the intensive care unit told Martin about the Ronald McDonald House.

I went over the house and within a few days a room was provided for us and that changed everything because we could be together.

The house is on the hospital campus and Martin found he could make it over to the intensive care unit within three minutes.

Martin says Roisín's health will have to be carefully monitored but at the moment she is a happy little girl.

However, a €500,000 funding shortfall because of Covid-19 means that the Ronald McDonald House Charities is appealing for public support.

Martin, one of the parent members on the charity's board of trustees, says his family is one of more than 4,000 who has stayed in the house since it opened its doors in 2004.

And with hotels and B&Bs closed because of Covid-19, it is an especially vital service for families of children with long-term illnesses who cannot rely on extended families because of public health restrictions.

rmhc.ie

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