“Our girls know this House better than most; it has been their home the staff like their family. We count our blessings that we had a place like this and their support through Eva’s journey.”
“Our girls know this House better than most; it has been their home the staff like their family. We count our blessings that we had a place like this and their support through Eva’s journey.”

The Mitchell Family

Finding strength from being together

At 20 weeks pregnant Mum Tiffany was told her baby had a diaphragmatic hernia, where the baby’s left side of the diaphragm isn’t formed, and was therefore unlikely to survive birth. Despite the odds, Eva was born on 13th September 2007. Her first 5 weeks were spent in a coma and with only half a diaphragm, Eva’s organs were pushed up into her chest putting stress on her lungs and heart.

At 6 weeks old Eva underwent her first surgery to rebuild her diaphragm. To date, Eva has undergone 3 diaphragm reconstructions as her body continues to outgrow them; along the way she has suffered 3 strokes and 7 bouts of pneumonia, and she remains on oxygen and is fed through a tube in her stomach 24 hours a day.

Eva (now 5), along with Mum and her sister Mela, age 7, moved out of Ronald McDonald House Auckland (RMHA) recently after four years of residing with us permanently from Eva’s birth (being one of our longest staying families ever). They live in a neighbouring suburb, where they can enjoy quality of life in a family home, whilst still being close to the Hospital as Eva continues to require constant treatment. Tiffany continues to be a passionate ambassador for RMHA. “We are so grateful to Ronald McDonald House Auckland. I have many fond memories of the House, my girls Eva and Mela called home. It hasn’t been easy, nor will it ever be, but the House enabled us to stay together.

Eva didn’t just have her mum by her side but also her best friend and big sister Mela! Mela lights up Eva’s days, and although their lives may be far from ‘normal’, being together is the most important thing for my little girls. They’re so close; playing together, laughing and making each other smile – these special moments are what helps my family get through!”

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