Ronald McDonald House family receives a special Christmas holiday

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – After battling a 108 day stay in MUSC’s neonatal intensive care unit, a Lowcountry family is enjoying a royal holiday at the King Charles Inn.

Cheers and excitement fill the lobby of the hotel as they welcome the Battaglia family.

“We’re excited to have them come to the hotel and experience a royal holiday,” says Maureen Sheridan, General Manager of the King Charleston Inn.

Especially after enduring an experience most mothers fear.

“My water broke at 25 weeks,” explains Emily Battaglia. After ten days of bed rest, baby Eleanor Battaglia was born at just twenty six weeks, weighing one pound and fifteen ounces.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen to your child, what’s she’s going to be like, if she’s going to live. It’s just a whole bunch of shock,” remembers Emily. But that shock quickly turned into hope.

“We had the absolute best nurses up there [MUSC] and they grew  her the rest if the pregnancy,” says Emily. During that time Emily and her husband stayed at the local Ronald McDonald House, providing support while baby Eleanor was fighting for her life.

“The staff becomes your family. So it was definitely our home. I felt like it was the home I brought her home to first,” Emily explains.

Now this particular Ronald McDonald House is no stranger to the Battaglia family. In fact, it holds a special place in Eleanor’s grandparent’s heart from when Emily battled cancer.

“I truly didn’t understand the impact of the Ronald McDonald House was to my parents until I became a parent,” Emily Says.

And 10 months later, Eleanor weighs in at a healthy 14 pounds. Now the family is able to come back and enjoy a complimentary weekend in Charleston… minus any hospital visits.

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