Dunedin mother Kristy Tennison tries a beanie for size on week-old Kaleb Moodie, watched by (from left) Janice Fleming, Highlander Brad Thorn and Julie Woods at the Dunedin Hospital neonatal intensive care unit yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Three blind women had a good yarn for a special cause in
And then pulled the wool over the eyes of a new generation of
Highlanders rugby fans.
Blind Foundation members Sue Dickson, Janice Fleming and
Julie Woods presented a batch of knitted beanies to babies in
the Dunedin Hospital neonatal intensive care unit [NICU].
The project started at a Blind Foundation leadership
programme in February, where the three women discovered a
shared passion for knitting and decided they wanted to do
something to make a difference.
They set a goal of knitting beanies in Highlanders' green and
blue for premature babies in the NICU.
''NICU has a very special place in my heart,'' Mrs Dickson
''My daughter Rebecca was born in the unit 40 years ago and
and my 6-year-old granddaughter Rayne was a month early too,
so ended up there too.''
Ms Woods was accompanied to the NICU yesterday by her
21-year-old nephew Will Phillips, who also spent time in the
unit as a premature baby.
''We knitted enough beanies to make up a rugby team of 15,''
Ms Woods said.
''I had to take a sighted helper into the wool shop to get
the wool and then I'd sit down and knit in front of Coro
Street every night.
"I didn't need to look at the screen or at my knitting. But I
dropped the odd stitch and had to start over again.''
The 21-bed NICU provides care for prematurely born babies
from 23 weeks' gestation and newborn babies up to three
months who require intensive care.
''I was blown away with their gesture. We're very grateful,''
NICU charge nurse manager Jan Seuseu said.
''These Dunedin winter months can get very cold and beanies
"The babies don't need them in the incubators because they're
nice and warm. But it's good to send them home with their
parents in some warm woollies.''
Highlanders lock Brad Thorn was also impressed with the tiny
head warmers yesterday.
''They're lovely. They're very cool,'' he said, while trying
one out on the head of Highlanders team-mate Kane Hames.