Family Stories


Jessica has had many different medical journeys throughout her life and one of these special journeys brought us to find a ‘home away from home’, half way across the country at Ronald McDonald House in Halifax.

At age 7 Jessica was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis. She spent many years doing daily physio, and went through many different styles of body braces that she wore all day. But even with all this, back in February of 2017, we were informed that she would need a very invasive full fusion back surgery that would stop the curve, but also create many other complications and restrictions.

Thanks to the Internet, we were able to find Dr. El Hawary, a leading doctor in ground breaking surgery for scoliosis.

And in August 2017, Jessica was approved to be his third patent, and the 164th in the world to have a brand new surgery called ApiFix, we were so thankful.

The surgery was booked for November. Jessica needed to be in Halifax for a month during and after surgery but we had no idea where we would stay.

We were blessed even further, to be able have a place to call home at Ronald McDonald House while Jessica was in Halifax.

It is never easy when your child is in the hospital, having surgery or seeing them in pain, but it is so comforting to have a home to go to, to not only relax, but be able to talk to others who understand, other parents who are in a similar situation.

It is also so wonderful that the volunteers spend so much time with all the children making them feel special as well.  Jessica’s sister made such great friends with Ben and Corey, she talks about them a lot.

There is also nothing as welcoming as walking through the door at RMH, to the aroma of a fresh made meal or baking.

We still need to go back for follow-up appointments but truly feel that ‘we are home’, when we walk through the doors of Ronald McDonald House in Halifax.

Written by Tracy Robb