While traveling to Ohio, Kelly Weber, a respected entrepreneur and executive leadership coach based in Seattle, Washington, was at the OU Inn with husband, Jeremy, celebrating her successful keynote earlier that evening at her alma mater, Ohio University. Eight months pregnant with their first child, she remarked to Jeremy how much she was looking forward to the holiday season together as they prepare for the birth of their first child, expected January 2018. While ordering their meal, they could have never anticipated what was to come - Kelly's water broke, 7.5 weeks early.
After being quickly transported to Athens hospital only to learn they were not equipped for a premature baby, Kelly was rushed to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, to ensure the safest, fastest delivery possible. The baby was well on her way and descending quickly and unfortunately the baby was breech.
As a result, the doctors performed an emergency C-section and successfully delivered a beautiful baby girl, Jett Porter Weber, weighing only 3 lbs. 11.6 ounces. Following a difficult extraction and a bumpy arrival, Jett was rushed to the NICU with Jeremy close by her side and Kelly in the recovery room following her surgery. Jett, like most early preemies, needed critical care.
Now new parents, thousands of miles away from home with a baby in the NICU, the circumstances were overwhelming and stressful. To focus on the health and well-being of their daughter Jett, Kelly and Jeremy needed a home-away-from-home close to the hospital allowing them to come and go as needed. Thankfully, the Ronald McDonald House became just that for them - a home.
Speaking of their first experience of the House, Kelly shared that, "while we had
heard of the Ronald McDonald House before, we weren't aware of the depth of their resources and were amazed by the generosity of their volunteers. It was humbling." And like many families that stay at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House, Kelly commented that one of the most meaningful experiences was connecting with other families going through similar challenges themselves.
In addition to the RMH, the Ronald McDonald Family Room available on the 5th floor at Riverside Methodist Hospital provided added convenience for the Weber Family. As Kelly and Jeremy noted, the Family Room was "great for doing our laundry, taking a hot shower, grabbing a quick snack or taking much needed break from the day with family." Both RMHC programs were available for them when they needed it most. Truly keeping families close.
Speaking of family, as a Christmas gift, the Weber's closest family and friends surprised Kelly and Jeremy by raising over $2,500 in Jett's name to be donated to the RMHC of Central Ohio. "It was the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for our family," remarked Kelly. "It makes us proud to know that Jett is already making a difference in this world."
We are happy to share that after 50 days in the NICU, Jett finally got to go home to Seattle with her parents this January, with her first big trip traveling cross-country by train! Jett is acclimating to "life on the outside" with her family in Seattle and RMHC of Central Ohio is proud to be a big part of the story of Jett's launch into life.