Seeing their third surviving child struggle to his first birthday was the end a long journey for Melissa and Brennon Zellmer, an Iowa couple who lost two infant sons.
The couple tells their story on the Des Moines Ronald McDonald House website. The Des Moines chapter houses families of children seeking in-patient treatment at nearby hospitals, as explained on its Facebook page.
The Zellmers lost Carter, their first son, after he survived just three days after a premature delivery. A year later, they had twin boys, one of whom died after a 23-week gestation. Kaleb, one of the twins, was felled by a blood clot just days after delivery.
However, Jase, the other twin, survived. During his treatment at the NICU at Mercy Children’s Hospital, the Zellmers stayed at the nearby Ronald McDonald House. After 135 days of treatment, baby Jase was released.
“I couldn’t believe it, for once in my life, I was not handing my baby to a funeral director,” Mellissa Zellmer said in the blog post. “I was taking my baby home. Brennon and I rode home, barely talking, looking at our baby and thanking God for this wonderful moment.”