Jessica was planning to spend just a couple of weeks in Porterville visiting her mom when she suddenly went into labor two and a half months early. Jessica delivered her very first baby, Ezra, at just 28 weeks old. Ezra weighed in at 2 pounds and 2 ounces when he was born and needed to be transferred to the NICU immediately. Luckily, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley was able to accommodate Jessica while Ezra received treatment at Valley Children’s Hospital.

Having a room at the Ronald McDonald House allowed Jessica to spend quality time with Ezra, and allowed her to be just minutes away from Ezra at all times.

“Being able to stay at The Ronald McDonald House helped me at a time when I had little left to give. It meant I could have a warm shower, eat at a table and have a nap in a bed” said Jessica. “But more importantly, staying at the House allowed me to get to and from the NICU in minutes. I was able to spend as much time as possible with Ezra. Being able to call the Ronald McDonald House our home made that possible. I truly believe that being so close to Ezra made all the difference.”

Jessica used all her time and energy to focus on getting her extremely premature baby healthy and strong enough to leave the hospital.

“I didn’t want to stay at the house alone, but for my son I will. I didn’t want to give up on my job, my team, or my friends in Oklahoma, but for my son I will. I didn’t want to be so far away from my son’s father, but for my son, I will” said Jessica.

Ezra began eating and breathing on his own and was released from Valley Children’s Hospital to go home on September 23, 2018.