86-Year-Old Man Learns to Knit to Make Hats for Preemies

PHOTO: 86-Year-Old Man Learns to Knit to Make Hats for PreemiesPlayDogwood Forest Assisted Living
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More than 300 preemie babies in the NICU at Northside Hospital in Atlanta are sleeping more cozily thanks to the efforts of an 86-year-old man.

Ed Moseley, a resident at Dogwood Forest Assisted Living in Acworth, Georgia, taught himself to knit so he could make precious, warm hats to donate to the babies this holiday season.

“I prevailed on my daughter to get a kit, and it comes with the right size loom and the right tools to help you knit one,” Moseley told ABC News. “I just followed the instructions. It was easy. Somehow I had never knitted, and I always associated knitting with a bunch of needles but this looked pretty doable for me. I went through two or three before I came out with a good finished product.”

PHOTO: 86-Year-Old Man Learns to Knit to Make Hats for PreemiesDogwood Forest Assisted Living
86-Year-Old Man Learns to Knit to Make Hats for Preemies

By the time he was finished, he had personally knitted 55 colorful, comfortable baby caps in response to his living community’s challenge to knit as many hats as possible for the hospital.

“Our corporate office gave us a challenge to see how many knit baby camps each community could make,” JoAn Hobbs, the facility’s executive director, explained. “The goal was 200 caps for the entire eight communities, but it seems that Dogwood Forest was the only one to really participate.”

Moseley is largely to thank for that. As a recently retired engineer, he excitedly took on the challenge and even held classes for his fellow residents to get them inspired, as well.

“I must be a lousy instructor because I didn’t get many takers,” he laughed.

But with the help of one of his caretakers, other staff, friends and family, Moseley had more than 300 hand-knitted caps to present to the NICU Thursday, and the parents of those preemies couldn’t have been more appreciative of the heartwarming gesture.

“It means a lot to us because this is our second stint in the NICU,” said Doug Bunt, who welcomed his youngest son, Matthew, on Nov. 12. “We have a 5-year-old who spent 54 days up there. To know there are other people who are thinking about the well-being of these babies, our babies, it’s really nice to know. The fact this man is taking time out of his day to help the kids really means a lot to us.”

PHOTO: 86-Year-Old Man Learns to Knit to Make Hats for PreemiesNorthside Hospital Atlanta
86-Year-Old Man Learns to Knit to Make Hats for Preemies

As for the staff at Northside Hospital, who care for about 2,000 premature infants each year, “It’s great to receive these wonderful gifts,” Linda Kelly, clinical manager of the special care nursery, said.

“To have a gift left at the bedside, or a nurse put the hat on the little baby’s head, makes it all seem less like a hospital,” she continued. “It’s important for families to see their baby as a baby and not as a patient. This will help to get the families to that spot.”

Moseley was glad for the opportunity to work on something while he enjoys his other favorite pastime -- watching golf on TV.

“When someone appreciates something you do, that makes you feel good, naturally,” he said. “I got a lot of enjoyment doing this and now I’ve graduated to large caps. I’m doing caps for all my grandkids.”