A story of the Heart Blanket.
This is my 9 month old son Leo. As some of you may know, Leo was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD). He had open heart surgery at just 5 days old and had two stents inserted in his heart just last week. Leo is a strong little boy, and he continues to amaze us everyday.
A few weeks ago, Leo received a very special gift - a handmade patch blanket from Heart Children Ireland and the Southern Branch of the Irish Patchwork Society. Here is a story of the blanket.
It started in 2002, when Irish CHD children were brought over to Baltimore in the US by Prof Mark Redmond. Helene Murchan (CNS Nurse) went with them. While they were in the US, Quilters donated handmade quilts to comfort these heart children while they were having surgery. So Helene decided to bring the idea back to Ireland and raised the idea at a Heart Children Ireland Conference. Brenda Corcoran Mohan, a Dress Designing and Pattern Making expert, was in attendance. Brenda's son also had a CHD. Brenda kindly agreed to manage the project. Brenda connected with Quilting groups like the Irish Patchworking Society and knitting groups such as in Arklow, and asked for their help to make blankets for our CHD children. All blankets have a special label identifying who made it. In the early days, the blankets were brought to Crumlin where the Cardiac Nurses gifted them to CHD children, but these days they are sent directly to the families via Heart Children Ireland. Our family would like to say a big thank you to Brenda and everyone involved. It's an amazing gift! Also, a very special thank you to the lovely Fionnuala Creed from the Cork Branch of the Irish Patchwork Society who created this beautiful blanket. I hope our message will somehow find you. Thank you, Irina, Aidan, Angelina and Leo x