When Baby Gabby Had Surgery, Her Family Found Comfort At RMHC DC



A year ago, shortly after her first birthday, Gabbriella underwent heart surgery. Monica and Steve found out about Gabby’s heart issues while she was in the womb. Their Cardiologist said that if she was strong enough, they could perform surgery when she was a year old.

The night before Gabby’s surgery, Monica and Steve came to stay with us at the Ronald McDonald House.  They were anxious and afraid of what the next day held for their baby daughter, but found comfort in the heart of any home - the kitchen. There they gathered with other families who “showed them the ropes.” It did them a world of good just to share stories with others that understood the challenges they were facing.


Gabby flashes her heart-warming smile just before her procedure, shortly after her first birthday.

Before they learned about the Ronald McDonald House, Monica and Steve thought they would have to spend a lot of money to stay in a hotel and drive to and from the hospital every day.  Monica said, “The House was a life saver,” and Steve said they couldn’t have asked for nicer place to stay or found somewhere closer. They had no idea how long Gabby would need to be in the hospital and it was a comfort to know that no matter how long they needed to stay, they had Ronald McDonald House to call home in the meantime.


For the five days they stayed with us, Gabby's family had every comfort of home - entertainment for all ages, home-cooked meals, and best of all, the support of others.  Before their stay, Monica and Steve didn’t really notice the donation boxes at McDonald’s restaurants.  Monica said,  “I never thought I’d ever need to stay at a Ronald McDonald House,” but now she has a new appreciation for everything the Houses do for families and she always drops her change in. “I will always give back to Ronald McDonald House.”

It’s been almost a year since Gabbriella’s surgery and she’s doing great.Monica and Steve say you can’t even tell she ever had heart issues!  Within the next ten years, Gabby will need another procedure and they hope wherever they are they can stay at a Ronald McDonald House.

A year later, Gabby is still smiling. Happy second birthday, Gabbriella!  Want to share your story? Contact us today!