The Howell Family


One cold February night, my excitement about my approaching June due date took a sudden fearful turn when my water broke. At only 23 weeks gestation, you can imagine my horror; it was just way too early! My husband Joel, who was working in Montgomery at Maxwell AFB, was contacted and he immediately began the trip to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

2 days later on February 6, with my husband at my side, I had an emergency C-section. Our baby boy was alive and weighed 1 pound and 2 ounces. We now know that we were in the absolutely best possible place to get specialized care for our precious baby Ryder.

Joel and I placed our trust in God to save our baby but we felt unsettled about what we should do next. My mother knew that I needed to stay as close as possible to little Ryder. While I was still groggy from sedation and Joel dozed in exhaustion, she made the call. The results of that call were nothing less than the answer to our needs and concerns. The fine staff at Ronald McDonald House were making arrangements for Joel and me upon my release from the hospital. Joel and I could relax now and focus on our baby. I would stay there full time while my husband worked at Maxwell in Montgomery during the week and he would be with me on the week ends. My parents would take care of our other 2 children.

While I didn’t anticipate the need of a safe place to stay while my baby received medical care, others were working hard and planning to meet this need. God provided a wonderful resource for me and my family, Ronald McDonald House is a supportive environment and all of us who are blessed to be able to make a temporary home there have a soft place to land. They provide us with a stocked pantry and many meals as well as a comfortable, private bedroom and bath. The hospital is only a brief, pleasant walk away.

I so miss my home life! ….But, I can’t imagine how difficult our lives would have been had Ronald McDonald House not come to our rescue. Our 1 pound 2 ounce baby boy is now 6 pounds. His home coming date has been delayed; we are just waiting for his little lungs to heal so he can breathe on his own and we can be together as a family once again.

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