Innokas Medical and Serres are sponsoring one of the 14 guest rooms of Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Charities in Meilahti, Helsinki. Sponsorship helps covering the costs of operating the House, offering families a homelike place to stay close to their hospitalized child.
Innokas Medical and Serres are co-creating the future of healthcare to improve the quality of people’s lives all over the world. Co-creation of next generation health tech innovations together with customers and end-users of both parties benefit also those seriously ill child patients, whose families are supported with accommodation by Ronald McDonald House Charities near the hospital in Meilahti, Helsinki. There is a huge need for a solution like this as almost 400 families are staying in the House every year. One of these families returned to home in mid-August this year with their newly born baby boy.
“The pregnancy of our long-awaited firstborn did not go as expected. In a structural ultrasound scan we were told about some serious structural problems in our baby boy’s heart”, tells the mother of the family, Tia Karlsson.
“After the scanning made in Porvoo, we were appointed to Fetomaternal Medical Center in Women’s Hospital in Meilahti, Helsinki, for further researches and scanning. Unfortunately, the statement gave by the pediatric cardiology did not give much hope for us, as our firstborn’s heart seemed to lack some structures. However, we decided to choose life instead of abortion; we were aware of the risk that when our baby boy would be born, we might very soon end up to terminal care with him”, she continues.
The pregnancy time of the family was filled with mixed feelings. The news concerning the condition of their son was sometimes better, sometimes worse. Before the childbirth the family received confirmation that the baby’s heart structure could be repaired — however, no one yet knew whether the heart would become single- or dual-chambered after the repair surgery.
“Eventually, our son was born as full term at the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki. The condition of his heart was serious, and when the condition unexpectedly deteriorated after the birth, the open-heart surgery had to be performed earlier than it was originally planned”, Karlsson says and continues:
“At the end we were really happy as the surgery went very well and our firstborn son today has a bicameral, functional heart. Our lives will be colored by various control visits in the future as well, but overall our story ended very happily.”
Staying close to child at Ronald McDonald House
When the son of the family was being treated in the New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki, Tia Karlsson - together with her husband Joel Eriksson - lived in the Green House of the Ronald McDonald House Charities near the Children’s Hospital. The RMH Charities aims to provide a community of comfort by providing accommodation to the families when the real home is at a distance.
“We had never heard about the RMH Charities and their operation before. Option to accommodate at the House was offered to us at New Children's Hospital, who officially sends the applications to RMH Charities when families need the accommodation. We got a place from their Green House, where we lived for a 2-weeks period in August this year”, Tia Karlsson says.
She also tells that they were little nervous whether a family living in Porvoo, near Helsinki city area, would be chosen to stay in the House.
“We’re really grateful that the accommodation was offered from the House. We were very tired and worried when our firstborn was in intensive care, in open-heart surgery or recovering from the surgery. In addition to this, we took my breast milk to the hospital even three times per day. Thus, it felt like Porvoo was surprisingly far away in that situation – there were no other options but to stay close to our son. We’re truly grateful for Ronald McDonald House Charities who made this possible for us”, Karlsson praises.
She says that the House was very comforting place to stay. In particular, the peer support received from other families living in a similar situation in life as well as the homey environment created an excellent framework to survive in the hard situation they lived in.
“We lived in one family room where we found everything we needed for personal living. In common areas, such as in the laundry room and in the kitchen, we met other families who lived in same kind of life situation as us in the House. The peer support received from the families was really invaluable for us”, Karlsson tells about the weeks they lived in the House.
“We are really grateful to the RMH Charities for how they support families in difficult life situations like this”, she continues.
Tia Karlsson's and Joel Eriksson's son has recovered well.
Bringing families near their children by Guest Room sponsorship
The story of RMH Charities’ current houses in Helsinki began already in 2002, when the houses were opened in Meilahti, Helsinki, near the New Children's Hospital. The aim of the Charities is to ensure funding for their operation and to take care of the House activities together with cooperation partner companies.
“Without cooperation partners, the operation of the House would not be even possible. There are different kinds of possibilities to cooperate, the Guest Room Sponsorship as one of the most concrete ones”, tells Johanna Huhtariihi, working as Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Helsinki.
Innokas Medical and Serres decided last year that they will together start supporting the Ronald McDonald House in Helsinki by Guest Room sponsorship.
“Cooperation and partnerships are core cornerstones for both companies’ businesses. Innokas Medical’s operation is based on long-term, close and strategic co-creation partnerships. At the same time, partnerships are a unique way for Serres to enable all stakeholders they work with to focus where it matters the most”, tells Elina Ihme, working as Head of Marketing and Communications at Innokas Medical, and continues:
“In addition to co-creating the future of healthcare together, Innokas Medical and Serres have decided to bring our cooperation to the next level by becoming corporate partners in this important charity work. By Guest Room sponsorship, we are able to support the families by bringing them close to their seriously ill children when he or she is being treated in the Children’s Hospital in Helsinki - helping the families to focus where it matters.”
As Guest Room sponsors, Innokas Medical and Serres support one of the 14 guest rooms - the room called “Puna-Apila” - of the House. Sponsorship helps offset the cost of operating the House, offering families a homelike place to stay closed by their hospitalized child at a low cost.
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