Earlier this year, Joshua Karpowecz received a phone call that no father is prepared to get. His wife, Mercedes, who was 25-weeks-pregnant, was being taken to St. Louis by ambulance for an emergency delivery.
In the whirlwind of it all, Joshua made the 3.5-hour drive from his hometown of Hermitage, Missouri, to St. Louis with no overnight bag, extra clothes or toothbrush. What he did have in the van was his fishing gear, left in the trunk from an earlier trip to the lake with his four sons. At the time, Joshua had no idea how important those rods and reels would be in the coming weeks.
Joshua and Mercedes’ daughter, Violet, was born on April 8, more than three months premature. Immediately, she was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mercy Children’s Hospital, and her family began calling our West County Ronald McDonald House “home.” Since then, slowly but surely, Violet has been growing stronger every day with the help of unconditional love from her parents.
Joshua and Mercedes spend all the time they can with their new daughter, and when they are able to take a short break from the hospital environment, they enjoy spending time at the RMH with other guest families. However, Joshua’s favorite thing to do with a little free time is to take the family fishing.
“When it all becomes too much, we just hop in the van and go,” he says. “It helps take the stress out of everything that is going on.”
This Father’s Day, we honor all of the amazing RMHC dads, like Joshua. Please consider making a gift to help us provide families – and fathers – with comfort, care and a home-away-from-home during the most difficult time in their lives. Thank you for your support!Donate today