At one o’clock in the morning on October 29, 2015, Jennifer Mullin woke up to severe back pain. Just over 26 weeks pregnant with twins, she tossed and turned as the pain continued to worsen. When she sat up in bed, she knew something was wrong.
Her husband Tyson took her to the hospital in their hometown of Miramichi, New Brunswick where she was examined by her doctor and told that she was going into labour. She was rushed to The Moncton Hospital by ambulance where later that day she gave birth to twin daughters, Chloe and Madison.
The girls, who were born three months prematurely, both appeared to be healthy and doing well at first. Then Jennifer received a phone call from her doctor one day letting her know that Madison had developed an infection and that they were putting her on antibiotics. As the day went on, she progressively got worse.
At two weeks old, Madison passed away.
“The reason we got through that difficult time was because of Chloe,” remembers Jennifer. “We had someone else that we needed to focus on.”
Chloe stayed at The Moncton Hospital for almost two months before she was discharged. Jennifer was by her side.
“I was at the hospital every day while my husband had to work at home,” explains Jennifer. “I stayed in Moncton with friends and had no vehicle. I was dropped off in the morning and stayed all day. I would head home on the weekends and come back Sunday night and start all over again.”
It was Tyson who first discovered the Ronald McDonald Family Room when he was looking for a place to eat in the hospital. Jennifer immediately made herself at home there.
“I went to the Family Room every day for breakfast and lunch for two months,” recalls Jennifer. “I would eat cereal every morning and grab whatever leftovers were in the fridge from dinner the night before for my lunch.”
Jennifer explained that the Family Room really helped her both financially and emotionally.
“We were spending so much money in gas going back and forth to Miramichi. Knowing we didn’t have to pay for food every day really helped us,” says Jennifer.
Jennifer feels that spending time at the Family Room was just like visiting a home. It helped to know that there was a place that she could go to sit down and have a rest.
“If I didn’t have a place to decompress, I would have gone crazy,” says Jennifer. “I didn’t mind being at the hospital all day because I had the Family Room as my haven when I needed it.”