Audrey Ko in the NICU with her dad.

Virginia Is For Loving Families

You Gave You-Shin Support During A Scary Time

You-shin and Derrick were all set to move to Michigan.

They’d sold their house, packed everything up, and purchased plane tickets to leave.  You-shin was 33 weeks pregnant with their daughter, Audrey.

UNEXPECTED EMERGENCY

One week before they left, You-shin went in for her last prenatal exam before the move.  During her check-up, You-shin’s doctors noticed a concerning drop in Audrey’s heart rate.  They asked You-shin to stay in the hospital for 24 hours of observation.

Just five hours later, Audrey’s heart rate dropped dramatically again.  Doctors were worried and strongly recommended an emergency C-section to deliver Audrey immediately.  You-shin’s husband, Derrick, was already in Michigan – she was terrified to deliver her baby alone and so far from her due date.

Scared and all by herself, You-shin made the difficult decision to deliver Audrey early.  “She’s the boss,” You-shin joked, “She wanted to be a Virginian!”

Mom and Grandma with Audrey and Dad on the phone

Born seven weeks before her due date, Audrey has a lot of growing and treatment ahead of her before she will be fully developed and able to go home.  And since their new home is in Michigan, You-shin and Derrick had nowhere to stay while Audrey is hospitalized.

A HOMEY PLACE

For the first couple of days after Audrey was born, they stayed in the hospital; then, in a cramped long term stay hotel.  When Derrick had to return to Michigan for work, his parents came to help You-shin with the baby and the small hotel room felt even smaller.  Thankfully, a co-worker suggested staying at the Ronald McDonald House.  “It was a lifesaver!” You-shin said.

“[The Ronald McDonald House is] such a homey place,” You-shin says.  She loves how bright and clean it is, the volunteer meal groups that cook for the families every day, meeting other families, and having a shuttle service to the hospital.  She says everything “psychologically and physically helps you heal.”

You-shin and Derrick with Ronald

Her father-in-law chimed in, “Virginia IS for lovers!”

“We are very grateful for the support of the Ronald McDonald House,” said Derrick.  “They help us to focus on what is most important right now: Audrey’s development and care.”