February is American Heart Month and a fellowship group with the informal name of Stitchers & More is celebrating. They are raising awareness of heart disease by knitting red hats for all babies born in February at United Hospital in Greenville.
The Stitchers & More group began twenty years ago as a group of women who gather once a month for fellowship while crocheting, stitching, scrapbooking, and sewing. The group ranges in age from early twenties, up to their oldest member who is turning ninety this year. When asking the group what inspired them to participate in this project, the name Kaylee is spoken in unison.
“This project is dedicated to a two year old from Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church who underwent successful open heart surgery,” explained member Mary Brasser.
Heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans and congential heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in the country. Congenital heart disease is a problem with the heart’s structure and function that is present at birth. Some defects will heal on their own, over time, while others will need to be treated. Some are treated with medications and others with surgery.
“We work closely with the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiology Program when we identify an infant in need. All of our infants are screened for congenital heart disease and we also carefully monitor the cardiac health of women with congenital heart defects who are pregnant or want to become pregnant,” said Dr. Jonathan Windeler, Chief of Pediatrics at Spectrum Health United Hospital.
“We are so thankful to the Stitchers & More group for their kindness and generosity. It is our hope that this information will raise awareness of heart disease and will inspire others to participate in similar activies,” said Shelly Westbrook, Foundation Director at Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals.
For more information about the congenital heart disease, go to http://www.spectrumhealth.org/congenital-heart-disease