At the 20-week ultrasound, Taysha was excited to learn the gender of her baby. Instead of a celebratory checkup, Taysha learned their baby girl had a very serious heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
She was told she would need to travel ahead of her due date, to be close to the hospital where her baby would need to undergo heart surgery immediately after birth.
Three weeks from her due date, Taysha arrived at the Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton, a long way away from her home in Medicine Hat.
“When we first got there, it was a bit overwhelming, but it didn’t take long to start feeling very comfortable,” says Taysha.
After their baby girl Brynlee was born, they spent long days bedside at the hospital while Brynlee underwent significant medical interventions to deal with her heart condition.
“After spending every day at the hospital with our little girl, we were so thankful to have a place to go ‘home’ to,” says Taysha. “It gets to be very stressful dealing with this kind of thing all day especially with your newborn baby having to stay at the hospital, but the Ronald McDonald House helped to take some of that stress off. It is truly an amazing organization, and you never realize the impact they have until you experience it first-hand.”
The family thinks about the meals every night and the shuttle rides every morning as some of the tangible ways the Ronald McDonald House supported them and eased many burdens through their medical experience.
“There were people there to talk to and connect with which made us feel like we had a community with us,” said Taysha.
“One night the hospital staff encouraged us to take a night off and try and take our minds off what was going on. The Ronald McDonald House organized to have us attend an Edmonton Oilers game so that we could take a small break.”
After 54 days in the hospital and at the Ronald McDonald House, the family was sent home to Medicine Hat as Brynlee was showing signs of improvement. Only three weeks later at a follow up appointment, the doctors became very concerned after some test results. The family travelled back up to Edmonton where the Ronald McDonald House made a room immediately available.
At two months old, Brynlee passed away in November of 2022.
Mom, Taysha, is committed to sharing her daughter’s story. She is passionate about supporting other families going through a medical journey and raising awareness for families who should consider staying at RMHC Alberta.
We want to thank Taysha and her family for sharing their story.