Story by Jacob Chaimovitch, Maxwell Mansfield, Dominic Celeste - South Windsor High School
MANCHESTER - Keeping babies warm after birth is a common practice in hospitals.
Babies born at Manchester Memorial Hospital are supplied with soft warm hats, thanks to one grandmother’s effort. Marilyn Mansfield has a personal reason for her work. “I was diagnosed with cancer - lymphoma non-hodgkins - and I had to go in and have chemotherapy and radiation. So, while I was there and during my treatment, I realized that people need hats.” said Mansfield.
Jaclyn Duskocy, the Clinical Nurse Manager at the Manchester Memorial Hospital, and in charge of the nursing staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, explains the importance of having hats for the babies when they are born. “One of the first things we do is once the baby is born, it’s important to keep their heat in.” So we apply a hat so that they always stay warm and they don’t lose heat from their head; that’s where you lose it the most.”
Duskocy explained, Marilyn has knitted and donated over 300 hats to the hospital every year for the better part of 10 years, donating 1056 hats in the past 3 years alone. That’s about a hat a day and Mansfield says she feels very good about doing it. “Kids need babies need it, y’know? It’s something nice to do. Everybody needs a hat!” says Mansfield.
Part of Mansfield’s mission is to help the babies and get others to donate to the hospital. Duskocy then went on to explain other ways people can help the babies and new parents at the hospital. “People make blankets, just small blankets to go in the car seats.”
She starts, “But something that is also nice that we’ve just had some people donate, is a little care pack for moms in the NICU. So moms and dads who have to come here and spend hours with their newborn baby. It’s nice to have water or granola bars or a magazine or something that they can come in and look forward to.” Donating and helping the needs of the newborns and the nursing staff has been Marilyn Mansfield’s goal over the past decade and she wishes to continue in the years to come.
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