Donate NowVolunteer

Then and Now: Lincoln the Lion

'Lincoln the Lion' and his family spent 20 nights in the Family Room at Southland Hospital.

Looking at two-year-old Lincoln today, you would not believe he weight just over 4 pounds when he was born at 33 weeks.

But what he lacked in weight he made up for with noise. He came screaming into the world and was quickly nicknamed Lincoln the Lion for his big set of lungs.

First-time parents Grace and Simon Frisby were shocked by Lincoln’s early arrival – they still didn’t have their nursery ready, and they felt completely unprepared.

Two days after Lincoln was born, Grace recalls an amazing lady with blonde hair and bright eyes came up to her in the neo-natal unit.

“Are you Grace?” she said, “You’re coming to stay with me”, and that was the first time Grace met the one and only Helen from the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Southland Hospital.

Grace was familiar with the facilities and wonderful Helen, as she is the Communications Manager at SBS Bank, generous supporters of our Christchurch and Invercargill facilities.

“To say Helen is amazing is an understatement. She’s kind, loving, caring and she’s genuine – all the things, that as a new family with a premature baby, we needed,” says Grace.

Grace says that is what truly makes the Family Room so special.

“Yes, the comfy couches, amazing rooms, delicious food and endless supply of home baking help a lot, but there’s a feeling of safety, love, comfort and camaraderie within those walls. Where you know everyone understands what you’re going through, where everyone’s got your back and where you all look after each other.”

After spending 20 nights in the Family Room, Grace and Simon were thrilled to be able to take Lincoln the Lion home.

The past two years have been a whirlwind for this family, who absolutely cherish their very brave, bubbly and boisterous two-year-old.

Our sincere gratitude to the Frisby family for sharing their story at Invercargill Supper Club 2018.


Sign up for our eNewsletter to read inspiring stories from our families and keep up to date with Ronald McDonald House South Island news.

* indicates required