My name is Specialist Brad Triplett, US ARMY, currently stationed at Ft. Riley, KS. In August my wife Traci, went to the emergency room at Ft. Riley. The hospital told us she was going into premature labor. The staff immediately medically air evacuated her to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka, an hour and a half drive away, where we stayed for nine nights.
I stayed with my wife in a small room by day and by night, sleeping on a small cot next to her bed. We were told by our doctor that Traci could walk around, but was not to go too far, because if we went back home, the Post Hospital would not be able to take care of her at this point if anything else went wrong.
As much as it hurt me to say, I told my wife we just could not afford to stay in a hotel even for the night. A social worker contacted us about staying in a Ronald McDonald House and I immediately said yes so my wife could get out of the very stressful hospital environment. On the way, I told my wife I hoped it was not too bad, but at least we would get an actual bed to sleep on.
When we arrived, we were amazed at the comfort level of the house. We began by looking around, and were happy to find a place where we could wash our clothes. We found the kitchen to be a blessing, as we could buy food to put in the refrigerator, or eat the home-cooked meals volunteers brought to us almost daily.
The house manager was very nice and answered every question we had. So many things that we were lacking had been donated to the house. There was soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergent, canned goods, and more. They donated time, food, etc., to this house. It actually feels like living in a regular, big, house.
This is by far the most stressful event of our lives, and the Ronald McDonald House has taken a lot of the stress out of our situation. If it were not for the Ronald McDonald House, my wife would have spent a month living day and night in a cramped, stressful environment unhealthy for her and our baby. I would have also spent a month doing the same sleeping on a cot next to her. Instead, we were watching a TV program together, sitting on the porch, watching one of about a thousand donated movies, or maybe even playing games. I cannot put into words the thankfulness my wife and I have for this house. The house, the staff, the donations, and the volunteers have helped us in ways we will never be able to repay.