PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. –  Newborns in Geisinger Wyoming Valley (GWV)’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) received a message of love for their very first Valentine’s Day. The hospital’s tiniest patients and their families were the recipients of more than 120 tiny hand-knit hats adorned with hearts, made by a small group of local volunteers.

Geisinger’s Auxiliary sought volunteers to donate knit or crochet hats for American Heart Month in February. Among them, was Donna Strubert of Madisonville, whose son Curtis spent seven weeks in Community Medical Center’s, now Geisinger Community Medical Center, former NICU 30 years ago.

“I remember seeing women sitting in the NICU knitting hats for babies,” said Strubert. “As a parent whose newborn was in the hospital, that little bit meant so much.”

GWV’s NICU cares for approximately 250 critically ill and premature newborns each year. The 13-bed unit is the only NICU in Luzerne county.
Charlette Wikde and daughter Camille
First-time mom Charlette Wilde from Wilkes-Barre holds her six-day old daughter Camille, in GWV’s NICU.
Camille Russell
Born on February 6, little Camille Russell sleeps snuggled in her red hat.
Donna Strubert, Judy Czachor, Betty Jean Kowalski, Charlette Wilde, Camille Russell
From left, Donna Strubert, Judy Czachor and Betty Jean Kowalski, all of Madisonville, hold the tiny hats they made for newborns; new mom Charlette Wilde and daughter Camille.
Red hats donated to NICU babies at GWV
More than 120 hats were donated to GWV’s NICU by local volunteers for Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month.