The Lehman family came to Ronald McDonald House shortly after their son Wyatt was born, almost three months premature.

Before Wyatt was born doctors in Edmonton checked and rechecked Cherish and the baby for signs of distress and noticed that while Cherish was slightly dilated, there was no immediate need for medical intervention. Cherish couldn’t help but feel that something was wrong and advocated to stay in the city close to the medical care that her baby would need once he was born.

A week later Cherish’s water broke and she was transferred by ambulance to the Royal Alexandra Hospital where doctors stopped her contractions. But from the beginning this pregnancy was not typical, and as time passed Cherish lost all of the fluid surrounding her little one.

Wyatt was born on November 11, 2015, via caesarian section. Cherish quickly went into survival mode. She felt helpless and only wanted to be able to support her son. She wanted to hear even the tiniest sound to know that her son was alive and to have something to hold on to.

Wyatt was very ill with many complications from his premature birth. There were many attempts to keep him alive as doctors struggled to find out why he kept destabilizing. Night after night Wyatt’s parents, Cherish and Jonathan, sat by his side hoping for the best and fearing the worst while they held his tiny body close. It was one of those nights that Cherish noticed Wyatt’s colour change dramatically. Doctors decided they had to do exploratory surgery immediately.

The feeling of love and support is palpable. It’s a genuine community, with so much support for the whole family.

The good news? Doctors discovered severe bowel deterioration which meant the family had a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

The bad news? It would take months before Wyatt would be able to leave his hospital bed. The Lehmans knew they had to stay by Wyatt’s side, but had no idea how they could make it work financially.

“I was a weeping mess sitting in that hospital room, I had no idea what to do,” described Mom Cherish, “And then thirty minutes later my phone rang – it was Ronald McDonald House calling to say they had a room for us.”

Home is said to be where the heart is, and for 191 nights Wyatt called the Ronald McDonald House his home. It was difficult for Cherish to put into words how thankful she is for all the donors and volunteers that make this House possible.

“The feeling of love and support is palpable. It’s a genuine community, with
so much support for the whole family,” says Cherish.