Olivas Family Story

We are so grateful to have the help of the Ronald McDonald House

My four-year-old son, Ozmar, was born with normal hearing, which was then wiped out by bacterial meningitis by the age of two. As a result, he was a candidate for cochlear implants on both ears. Doctors suggested that the medical procedure be done quickly before any bony growth developed in the cochlea as a result of the meningitis. And it meant we had to leave our home in Roswell and travel to Albuquerque for medical care.

For the past two years, Ozmar and I have attended regular Parent-Infant Program Sessions at Presbyterian Ear Institute (PEI). We are happily seeing progress with his treatment. What has meant the most to my son and I, is knowing we have a place to stay, and the support we have from the staff.

Ozmar and I first came to the Ronald McDonald House in April 2014. Since then, we have stayed just over 280 nights. As part of his therapy, I learned to carry out strategies to help Ozmar build his listening and spoken language skills. This took regular, intensive, systematic sessions at PEI, which is why it was so helpful that we could stay close by at the Ronald McDonald House.

After a whole day of learning, Ozmar looks forward to going to the House so he can just be a four-year old and enjoy life as a child. Ozmar has grown so close to the House and staff and has learned to say most of their names. It brings happiness to my heart knowing my son enjoys spending time at the Ronald McDonald House. I am thankful the Ronald McDonald House has been there the past year providing a stable home-away-from-home during his treatment.

Though we are still on this long journey, Ozmar has made such incredible improvements from only saying one word, to now saying more than four word sentences. We are more than thankful and grateful to the Ronald McDonald House and the staff for their encouragement and letting us know what a great difference they have all seen in my son’s speech and hearing. This gives me more strength to keep doing the best for Ozmar.

Viviana Olivas