Sophie LeBlanc from Dieppe, New Brunswick gave birth to her daughter Zoe prematurely at 31 weeks.
Zoe spent a month in the NICU until she was released for two weeks but then became sick and was readmitted for another month to the PICU.
Sophie visited the Ronald McDonald Family Room daily during her two month stay.
“I loved it,” says Sophie. “I refused to leave the hospital. It was the only place I would allow myself to go where I could still be close to my baby.”
Sophie is all too familiar with hospitals as she works at The Moncton Hospital as a psychiatry nurse.
“Everywhere you go in the hospital there is noise,” says Sophie. “The Ronald McDonald Family Room was my quiet place. It was somewhere I could go where there was silence. It brought a sense of peace to me.”
It was the small comforts of home that Sophie was most grateful for.
“I would go there to eat and to shower,” says Sophie. “The people that worked and volunteered there were so wonderful. I would sit down and have a coffee and look out the window out to the hospital.”
Sophie wasn’t the only person in her family who enjoyed the Family Room.
“I have a four year old daughter named Alyssa who I couldn’t be home with for 2 months,” explains Sophie. “The times she could come to visit the Family Room, she loved it. To be able to give her something when she visited the hospital that she was excited about was meaningful. It made a huge impact on me.”
Sophie says she didn’t actually understand how important the room was until she became a patient.
“It’s a home away from home,” says Sophie. “That’s what it really is. It makes a huge difference.”