During one of the scariest moments of their life, one organisation was the light in the dark for Morgan Yeatman and Matthew Howard.
On June 29, 2020 at 6pm Cooper Howard was born at Mudgee hospital, weighing 9.03 pounds (4.1 kilograms).
While the lead up to the birth was "pretty normal", it was once Cooper was born that the family's obstetrician realised he had meconium aspiration syndrome.
Meconium aspiration syndrome is respiratory distress suffered by a newborn who has aspirated a dark green, sterile fecal material into the lungs in the time surrounding birth.
"While he was struggling to get his first couple of breaths in the world one of his lungs collapsed as well," Morgan said.
"He was kept alive for six hours by the Mudgee doctors and nurses after pressing the big red emergency button and a rush of people came to help."
Cooper was flown to Westmead Children's Hospital the following day where he would stay for five days as he got stronger, however his parents were required to stay put amid coronavirus concerns once Cooper was transferred.
"We couldn't go down with him because they thought I might have COVID. I was required to get tested by the NETS (Newborn and paediatric Emergency Transport Service) team which was very surreal," Morgan said.
"We didn't see him for 24 hours till I got the all clear because it was mostly symptoms from labour, rather than COVID symptoms.
Once they got all the gunk out of his lungs and stomach he actually reacted really well to life and recovered well.Morgan Yeatman
The hustle and bustle of Westmead varied greatly to the treatment Morgan and her family received from Ronald McDonald House (RMH) once they were transferred, care the family was greatly in need of.
"Westmead is a really busy hospital, lots of babies, lots of premies and bubs needing care. Surreal is the word I use a lot, because when we were there we felt like just a number in the crowd," Morgan said.
"They said we would be going to Orange and as soon as they patched us up with the Ronald McDonald people, it was just a completely different feel.
An ease just came over me, we went from being a number in the crowd to feeling like someone's main focus to help us. It was just a breath of fresh air.
"They pretty much would go over the moon and back for us."
The couple stayed in Orange for two nights and there's not a single thing they would change about their stay with Ronald McDonald House, Orange.
"They had hand made meals and a little care package for bub and amenities and all sorts of stuff, they checked in with us the next day and it just meant that we could focus on Cooper and his recovery, it was brilliant," Morgan said.
"We were anxious and worried and everything was just a blur. It was good to know that there were still people in the world that cared and were there for us. It was just really what we needed at that time."
In a bid to show just how appreciative the were of the stay with RMH, Morgan and Matt will be hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, August 1 to raise much needed funds for the not-for-profit organisation.
"When we met with the Ronald McDonald manager she mentioned how hard it was with COVID as all of their charity events weren't able to happen," Morgan said.
"Matt and myself being gym members at CrossFit Mudgee, thought it was a perfect opportunity to get people together that would be working out anyway and make it for a cause.
"It will be a gold coin donation, with a barbecue breakfast after the workout. I'll have a chat with Pete, the owner of the gym and we'll put something fun together for the members.
"Most of the members that we're friends with that we workout with know what happened with coop but not in depth and, and not specifically how Ronald McDonald helped us so this is an opportunity for us to just let them know how important that part of our life was and how much they did for us."
Ronald McDonald House will be hosting their 'Wear Red Day' on July 30 where people are encouraged to wear the colour red to work or school and make a donation to bit.ly/wearredday20.
A total of 35 families from the Mid-Western Region have stayed at Ronald McDonald House, Orange.
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