HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Surrounded by white lab coats and big, intimidating machines tracking your baby's heart rate and breathing, you're scared and overwhelmed — hoping for any sign of good news.
All of a sudden a woman with a warm smile and kind eyes approaches and after an embrace, she hands you a flannel pink teddy bear-patterned blanket.
"We stitched this with love and prayers," she tells you. Suddenly your world is a bit brighter.
Newington resident Edyie Steimer, a member of the GFWC Newington/Wethersfield Woman's Club, has delivered a total of 826 blankets to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford since 2006.
Although they're not the only group to donate blankets to the families struggling with sick babies, the club's donations are frequent and many. Their goal is to reach 1,000 blankets, hopefully within a few years.
"That's just the first goal. I want to do this as long as I possibly can. It warms my heart, especially where we are now in the world . this is something so positive," says Steimer, who brings along a different club member each time she makes a delivery so that everyone can have the heartwarming experience of greeting blanket recipients.
"It is so wonderful," she says. "I feel I get more out of it; it's a way for parents to recognize their little boy or girl."
And Steimer has utmost respect and admiration for the doctors and nurses who work with the families on a daily basis, constantly surrounded by heartbreak and small successes — everything that comes along with having a sick infant.
"We have a wonderful relationship with the hospital; the staff is so loving and nice."