House a home for the Parkers
TEGAN Parker says her one-year-old son Cobber has spent half his life at the Ronald McDonald House.
Cobber was born with a congenital joint disorder that required treatment involving more than 50 flights to and from hospital from the Parker’s home in Kununurra.
Ms Parker said her family would not have been able to afford medical treatment without the Subiaco Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).
“Sometimes when the House has been full we’ve had to stay in hotels and it costs a lot of money,” she said.
“The first time we had to come down was the first time I had ever been in Perth and I was absolutely lost – we didn’t know how far away the hospital was or anything.”
Ms Parker said Cobber, who was born profoundly deaf and had a condition called arthrogryposis, was four weeks old when she first stayed in RMHC.
“Having a place I knew I could come back to and have a meal was a godsend,” she said.
“You feel really safe here, as well.”
Ms Parker said Cobber would have an operation at Westmead Hospital in Sydney and fly back to Perth to spend four weeks at the House during his recovery and physiotherapy.
“We’ll do anything for Cobber to be able to walk. Everybody here is so supportive and going through similar things so if you burst into tears, it’s OK,” she said.
RMHC volunteer Sara MacLaren-Kennedy said she spent nine hours a fortnight at the House.
“It’s a chance to spend time with kids because my grand kids are overseas and interstate so I don’t see them very much,” Ms MacLaren-Kennedy said.
“There are such incredible people here and everyone is so energetic and friendly.”
To donate, visit https://www.rmhc.org. au/donate.
Tegan Parker with son Cobber.