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Quilters comfort young hospital patients one stitch at a time

March 28, 2017 06:47 PM

ALBANY – More than 2,000 children have been comforted by quilts lovingly stitched by the Albany Quilts for Kids chapter. The chapter is four years old.

Once the quilts are completed, they're dropped off at the hospital so quilter and family never get to meet. That changed on Tuesday.

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An unexpected delivery brightened Jordanne Stanley's day. It was a handcrafted quilt to brighten her baby's room.

Jaxon, born with a heart defect, has spent most of his five months at the Children's Hospital at Albany Medical Center.

Stanley says she had been hoping for one of these quilts and on Tuesday, fate arranged for both a quilt and meeting the woman who stitched it, Ellen Vosburgh.

"It makes it feel like we're at home, not just at a hospital and it's very heartwarming that these ladies make all of these quilts for the patients in the PICU," noted Jordanne Stanley, a quilt recipient.

Normal hospital protocol has Karen Casey, founder of the Albany chapter of Quilts for Kids, or a group member, like Vosburgh, dropping off the finished product and heading home to Castleton.

"You can't see the children that they're going to get, get them," explained Casey.

However, with a news crew in tow for the hand off, serendipity stepped in.

WEB EXTRA: Founder of Albany Quilts for Kids on how it got started

"I can't even tell you what it means. It's wonderful, just wonderful," beamed Vosburgh.

There was a quilt for Jason and Donyll Davis's 18-month-old son Kyrie to snuggle in.

Jennifer and Kevin Fogg, whose 4-month-old baby Logan is battling cancer, clearly need the quilt treatment and the comfort it brings.

"We can't make these quilts. We cannot go out and buy these quilts, because they're handmade, they're all so special and they're all different," noted Emily Corwin, CCLS, a child life specialist at Albany Medical Center.

Corwin says the quilts make sterile hospital rooms feel more homey. Now, meeting the quilters, she credits the love stitched into each square for lifting spirits.

Once a month, a dozen or more women meet at the Emanuel Reformed Church in Castleton. They bring their sewing machines and kind hearts to create these comforting covers. While most of them joke they're eligible for AARP, some are still in school, like cousins Rachael Frazier who's 11 and 13-year-old Becka Hall.    

"Never stop, 'cause we're doing this for kids that need them," explained Rachael.

In the four years since Karen Casey formed the Albany chapter, more than 2,000 quilts have been donated. This chance meeting with families further binds the commitment to keep stitching.  

"To see them receive one and the smile on their faces, it's what it's all worth," acknowledged Casey.

All the quilting material is donated. If you would like to donate fabric, batting or cash you can reach Karen Casey at casey.albanyqfk@gmail.com.

The Albany chapter is affiliated with the national Quilts for Kids. 

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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