02 Aug From London to Washington, DC with Love
Ayaan’s mom, Rujuta, describes him as a “sunny little boy” that is “full of surprises.”
In fact, Ayaan started life out by surprising his mom in a big way.
At 28 weeks into her pregnancy with Ayaan, Rujuta came to Washington, D.C. from London on a work-related trip. While here, she unexpectedly went into labor and ended up staying for much longer than planned.
Ayaan was born weighing just 2lbs 140z and needed help breathing, eating, as well as a blood transfusion. He was admitted to the NICU, where he received care for 10 weeks before Rujuta and her husband, Paul, could take him home.
Rujuta said Ayaan’s health was their primary concern. “It’s unimaginable for us to think of Ayaan being on his own in the hospital without us nearby. As a newborn it was critical for us to form bonds and to get him started in life. We treasure the time we spent together in the NICU, especially the skin-to-skin contact which really seemed to help him progress.”
After spending long days with Ayaan at the hospital, Rujuta and Paul were so grateful to come back to a volunteer-prepared meal and the people who make our House a home. She says, “The real heart of the House is the kindness from staff, volunteers and fellow residents. Being far away from home we did not have our support system of close family and friends with us and it was lovely to have people to talk to.”
The Ronald McDonald House of Washington, DC was not just Rujuta and Paul’s “home-away-from-home.” Once discharged from the hospital, the House became Ayaan’s “first home” when he joined them for a couple of weeks before they all flew home together.
Two-year-old Ayaan continues to surprise his family – most recently by beginning to develop his own jokes! He also loves being outdoors and being a big brother to his baby sister, Zoya.