Eddy and Yohann dreamed of their baby for three years, and they never imagined her arrival would turn into a 30-day stay in America.

As a couple living in Paris, France, where surrogacy is illegal, Yohann and Eddy went through three intense years of the process before they were able to start their family. The embryo was transferred to a surrogate in Kansas City last December, and everything was looking great. They were thrilled to have a healthy pregnancy until they received a call that the surrogate was severely preeclamptic, and she would need to go into emergency labor at just 32 weeks.

“We were still in Paris, and we were boarding the plane to the U.S. so we could get there as quickly as possible. We were able to watch the delivery on FaceTime. It wasn’t the way we hoped, but sometimes the obstacle is the way,” said Eddy.

They landed in Kansas City and went straight to the NICU at Research Medical Center to meet their sweet baby, Cassilya. Although she was born at only 4 lbs., she didn’t have any major health concerns. But the couple was told she would likely be in the NICU for the better part of two months.

Yohann, Eddy and Cassilya

Eddy and Yohann found an AirBnB next to the hospital prior to their arrival, but it wasn’t what they expected.

“It was in the basement of a house as close to the hospital as we could get … but it was like a horror movie,” said Eddy.

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The sympathetic NICU nurses told Eddy and Yohann about the Ronald McDonald House, and they filled out a reservation online. Shortly thereafter, they heard from Adele, a Family Stay Coordinator.

“She was calling ME to try to help ME – never something I had experienced – and it was free! We appreciated the staff going the extra mile every day to help us however they could,” Eddy said. “The food, the generosity, the support system … to have open arms for strangers was just incredible.”

The couple were even able to get married in Research’s chapel while they were in KC, with their daughter right by their side.
Eddy and Yohann were able to fly home to Partis with their sweet Cassilya last week, but they will never forget their experience at the Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City.

“People are rooting for you that you’ve just met. It is humbling and it teaches you about what it means to be human.”