Ronald McDonald House opens for families at Doernbecher, OHSU: 'It's really a blessing'

Ronald McDonald House opens in Portland - KATU image

Families with sick kids at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have a brand new place to call their "home away from home.”

The brand new Ronald McDonald House at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) held its grand opening Wednesday on Portland’s South Waterfront.

"It means a lot because we get to be close. We live an hour to an hour and half away," said Allison Aho.

Her child is in the NICU with what she describes as, "chronic lung disease, severe asthma, 6 holes in his heart, and a brain abnormality."

There are 38 rooms for families to stay in for free, and plenty of space to do family things, like cook. “If they didn't have a place to come home to, right at the foot of the hill of the south waterfront campus, they might not have access to this life saving care," said Jessica Jarratt Miller, CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

It's open to families who live more than 30 miles away, allowing the entire family to be together.

"No child gets better without a family,” said Doernbecher’s Chief Physician, Dr. Dana Braner. “At Doernbecher, we believe that families are better than any amount of doctors, and it's hard having a sick child in the hospital."

The $32 million facility was built completely through donations, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities will run it from here.

"It's just like home - anybody that ever gets offered this. It's really a blessing,” said Walter Lathe, father to the child in NICU.

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