Yvonne Lambert- Smith


I am originally from New Zealand and have lived in Singapore with my husband since 2006. Back in July 2008, in New Zealand, my only grandson, Dylan was born extremely prematurely – at just 25 weeks. He was referred to the New-born Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital. Dylan had heart surgery and was hospitalised for a number of months requiring constant monitoring, oxygen, and medication. Because of his condition, along with his being away from home city, his parents were referred to the Ronald McDonald House (RMH), situated on the hospital grounds and close to the NICU. The service provided by RMH was amazing.Not only did Dylan’s parents have a room to stay, I was also welcomed as a constant visitor. We were fed and had a space to get away and make decisions regarding Dylan’s care. RMH also helped in reducing the stress that we were experiencing over the months. After my personal experience, I came to hear about RMH operating in Singapore at the National University Hospital (NUH) and decided to start volunteering weekly at the House at NUH in mid-2014 as I wanted to give back to the Charity. My experience as a volunteer at RMH at NUH has been very rewarding. I enjoy being there for the parents – from saying a simple “hello” to being able to provide a caring presence and as much support as they need. Sometimes, it is just about making sure the laundry service is completed quickly and efficiently to minimise the inconvenience and at other times, clearing away dishes or serving lunches. Sometimes, it is even just being at the front desk ‘just in case’. Through my conversations with the families who stay at the RMH, I know that they appreciate the House, staff and volunteers as much as I did when my grandson was in hospital.