DAYTON, Ohio — As the delta variant surges, hospitals are adjusting how they handle other procedures. That's led to more out-patient treatment to save hospital beds for COVID patients.
Now, places like the Ronald McDonald House are busier than ever, seeing more families needing a place to stay through surgeries and follow-up treatments.
For close to two weeks, Christ Foust and his girlfriend have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Dayton. It’s because their son Greyson, who was born prematurely, is staying at a hospital nearby.
“Being my first child I was kind of nervous and skeptical,” said Foust. “I was thinking the worst obviously because you know early doesn’t sound good for a baby.”
When Foust and his girlfriend aren’t at the hospital, they get caught up on laundry. Ronald McDonald House is equipped with a laundry room filled with free laundry detergent.
“It took a lot of stress off of me and my girlfriend’s back,” he said. “So it makes it all easier while dealing with the preemie situation.”
The Ronald McDonald House in Dayton has 14 private rooms for families, a fully stocked kitchen, a game room, and much more. What surprised him the most about his stay is the free transportation. It cost $1.5 million a year to keep the house in operation.
Fundraising is also an important funding source, and due to the recent rise in Delta variant cases, Ronald McDonald House Charities is postponing all in-person fundraising events until further notice.
“They already do so much so for them to still go above and beyond to provide transportation to where it is a shocker and a big thing,” he said.
In addition to the house, at Miami Valley Hospital, there is a Ronald McDonald House family room. It’s right across the hall from the NICU and it provides time for families to relax and unwind.
“This is really convenient for me and my family because we’re here all day,” he said. “We spend about 12 hours out of our day here with our son and it’s nice to have the refreshments and everything else at my disposal that I may need.”
In the next couple of weeks, Foust hopes to bring Greyson home for the first time, but he said he'll always be grateful for the help provided by the Ronald McDonald house.
“I’m very optimistic about moving on and moving forward with everything with all the help we’ve gotten from all these places like here and the Ronald McDonald House it really helps a lot,” he said.