Navigating the Unknown: Patricio’s Epispadias Journey with Ronald McDonald House

Born at just 3.3 pounds, baby Patricio came into the world with courage beyond his years. The first four years of his life will demand not only the strength to endure multiple surgeries but also the resilience to defy the odds stacked against him. Currently, Patricio is just over one year old and has completed 1 of the 4 required surgeries needed to ensure he has a happy healthy life. 

Patricio’s journey began with an unsettling revelation during Claudia’s pregnancy. Seven months into her pregnancy, doctors unveiled complications, leaving Claudia in the shadows of the unknown. 

 Claudia was shocked when she learned that her newborn baby was diagnosed with epispadias, Epispadias is a rare type of malformation in which the urethra, which requires surgical closure soon after birth. Often including a reconstruction and closure of the urethra and the entire perineum. Already suffering from postpartum diabetes and preeclampsia, the news brought an additional weight on Claudia’s shoulders on what her young family ‘s next move would be. 

What the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of San Antonio Does for Families 

In the midst of medical turmoil, Claudia discovered Ronald McDonald House—a haven for families facing the unexpected.  

While trying to cope with the reality of their son’s profound diagnosis and the haunting void of uncertainty that engulfed their path through Patricio’s diagnosis, Claudia and the Nieto family grappled with profound sadness, that they had no place to turn. While sitting in the hospital waiting room, a compassionate social worker recommended The Ronald McDonald House. From that moment on, RMHC became more than just a place to stay; it became a lifeline for Patricio and his family.  

“We had no idea what we were going to do. We had no idea.’ Claudia recounts. 

Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Claudia found solace in the camaraderie of fellow families and the compassionate RMHC staff. The Nieto’s called Ronald McDonald House home for 63 days when baby Patricio was born in 2022. Today, the Nieto’s are back at RMHC and are staying with us for follow-up appointments. On top of forming these bonds with her newfound family and friends, Claudia mentions, “We have been able to save so much money, this is the best thing that has ever happened to us.” 

As Patricio undergoes follow-up appointments following his recent procedures, Claudia reflects on the bittersweet wait for the day they can return home until their return for Patricio’s second surgery. Claudia shares, “The time we are allowed to stay here is the time we get to spend with him.” For Claudia, RMHC is more than a temporary residence—it’s a home filled with warmth and understanding. 

How you Can Support Children Like Patricio 

Be the Light and make a gift today for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. When you donate to the Ronald McDonald House, you are keeping families like the Nieto’s close to the resources they need for every visit, every follow-up appointment. Families like the Nietos’ rely on Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio to be there when they least expect it. This holiday season, we are asking you to do the same— because when you’re here for us, we can be there for them.