08 Nov The Barry’s home for 368 nights
When Ellie was feeling run down and her tummy looked bloated, her mum took her to the doctor.
The doctor took one look and said, ‘You need to go to emergency straight away.’
After a short visit to Karratha Hospital, Ellie, her mum Neen, dad Alex and brother Jasper were flown to Perth to receive urgent care.Neen and Alex were heartbroken that their daughter was sick, but also had to worry about how they would be able to live so far away from home.
Where would they stay, and would they be able to stay together?
With just 7 days before Christmas, they were given a place to stay at Ronald McDonald House Charities WA.
Ellie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and the family made the House their home for 368 nights.
Being so close to the hospital was essential for Ellie. Sometimes they would be on their way back from the hospital, only to go right back because Ellie’s temperature spiked.
While doctors worked to save Ellie’s life through chemotherapy, Neen and Alex were still trying to figure out their new life.
They couldn’t even think about groceries or cooking, so they felt lucky to have RMHC WA providing breakfast and dinner for their family each day.
Christmas at the House was a comfort, with decorations and activities making it almost feel like a ‘normal’ holiday season.
Ellie’s brother Jasper enjoyed being part of all the activities at the House while Ellie was receiving treatment, a space where he could still just be a kid.
As the family went through the ups and downs of treatments, Neen and Alex found comfort in speaking to staff, volunteers, and other families at RMHC WA.
They knew even far from home, they weren’t alone.
Without the help of RMHC WA, the family would have lost their home to support living in Perth and getting Ellie through treatment.
Last Christmas, after months of treatments, Ellie had made a full recovery.
They could return home, and this year will be able to enjoy a Christmas away from the hospital, close to family and friends.
Up to 61 WA families with sick kids will make RMHC WA their home for Christmas this year.
Home is where the heart is and providing a home away from home allows families to focus on being together as they go through the most difficult times.
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Acknowledgement of Country
Ronald McDonald House Charities WA proudly cares for families on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this land, the Noongar People and the Traditional Custodians, the Whadjuk People. We pay respects to the Elders past and present for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Indigenous Australia.