The Conroy family

Halfway over the Atlantic Ocean, Helen Conroy felt she was going into early labor. Two weeks later, the Conroys welcomed their first child in St. John’s, more than 2,000 miles away from home.

Stayed with

Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland & Labrador

Nights spent with RMHC


On Thursday August 1st, Helen and Killian Conroy boarded a plane from Dublin to New York City to attend a family wedding. The plan was to have three days of fun with their friends and family before returning home to Dublin. This was to be Helen’s last trip before her expected due date, October 15th.

Halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, Helen realized that the birth of her baby was imminent. The pilot was instructed to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport in Goose Bay, NL. Helen made it to the hospital and the doctors and nurses confirmed that the situation was stable. Helen was transferred by air ambulance to the Health Science Centre, in St. Johns, NL.

In the early hours of August 12th, Helen gave birth to a beautiful boy, weighing in at just 3lbs 12.5oz. Helen and Killian named their son Thomas St. John, after the city in which he was born. Because Thomas was born 9 weeks premature, he was placed in an incubator in the NICU at the Janeway Children’s Hospital where he could be monitored 24 hours a day by their dedicated staff. A social worker at the hospital spoke with the family and told them they could stay at the Ronald McDonald House while Thomas was in the hospital.

“We were blown away by the beautiful rooms, accommodations and facilities. This is the perfect place for families to stay in while a child is admitted in the hospital,” said Killian.

“[we] were able to be present for every decision, improvement and set back, as our son grew strong enough to be taken home to Ireland.”

The house provided them with comfort and security, close to the hospital, while Thomas went through the ups and downs of a premature baby’s development and growth. Killian continued, “We were able to see him all the time and were able to be present for every decision, improvement and set back, as our son grew strong enough to be taken home to Ireland.”

After five long weeks, far from their home and in this wonderful city of St. John’s, NL, Thomas St. John was discharged from the hospital.

“The staff and volunteers and supporters of Ronald McDonald House have looked after us while we were far, far from home. We were given a beautiful home away from home when we needed it the most. We can never repay what Ronald McDonald House has done for us. We will always be grateful.” expressed Killian.

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The Conroy family