a Family Story

This family shares their experience with our Ronald McDonald House program.

the Davidson Family

Davidson Family

Melinda and Luke volunteered at RMHC during college. Little did they know the impact it would have on their lives until much later.
Melinda and Luke Davidson first learned about the mission of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley when they volunteered their time during their time at Concordia college. Little did they know the impact it would have on their lives until much later.

While pregnant with her fifth child, Melinda Davidson was placed on bed rest because of pre-term contractions. After a month, she was rushed from their home in Menagha, Minnesota, via ambulance to Essentia Health Hospital in Fargo for an emergency cesarean section. At 6-weeks early Melinda and her husband Luke welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Jacob. Jacob was immediately emitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as a result of his early arrival. The Davidsons had a whirlwind of emotions as they were so excited to have Jacob join their family, but the early arrival left them overwhelmed, underprepared, and shuffling to get their feet under them. 

Being 87 miles away from home, Melinda and Luke needed to find a place to stay while they helped Jacob grow. Their doctors advised them that skin-to-skin contact and quality time were the best ways they could help their baby. From the beginning, they felt at ease as they walked into their temporary “home” at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley for the next 17 days. They took turns throughout the day ensuring one parent was at the hospital every step of the way as Jacob grew stronger and learned to eat without help from machines.

The burden of finding a place to stay close to the hospital that was also affordable was lifted from Melinda and Luke’s shoulders which meant they had more time and energy to spend with Jacob. Luke said the meals provided by the volunteers throughout the week were crucial. He was often able to run from the hospital to the house, and instead of skipping supper because he had no time, he was greeted with a homecooked meal. In five minutes, he was on his way back to Jacob’s bedside.

During sleepless nights, Melinda was able to find solace and peace in the kitchen where a hot cup of tea would keep her company. They came to love the dining tables so much, they bought one for their own home. The House was a hit amongst their other children when they came to visit baby Jacob in Fargo. Having a place to host the rest of the family was a great plus. When their other four children came to visit their new baby brother, the Ronald McDonald House became the place for their family to gather and enjoy time with each other afterward.

Melinda said, “We love to share about RMHC whenever we can because we know the amazing impact it had on us and others. It was amazing, comfortable, and we were overwhelmed by the generosity of gifts and meals, and volunteers! We know first-hand now how much of a difference the meals and time donated by a group can make in a day when you are focused on caring for a little one in the hospital.”

Today baby Jacob is strong and can keep up with the rest of his siblings. They love to swim, fish, and go on road trips together! 

Share this post

Scroll to Top