Wheatland, N.Y.-- For her parents, Julia Coon is miracle child.
Julia was born three months early. She only weighed one pound and nine ounces. Julia was so small that her head was smaller than her mother’s fist.
“It’s very hard to explain,” says Julia’s father, Brennan Coon. “So many things go through your mind and you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Julia had to stay in the hospital for 83 days after she was born. Her mother, Kristin Coon stayed by her side. Julia was so small she couldn’t wear clothes or hats for regular newborns so her friends decided to help.
“Preemies have to wear tiny hats,” Kristin says. “Their heads are about the size of your fists so some of my knitting friends knit me a whole little collection of hats in all different colors and sizes. She had a fun little hat on every week.”
Nearly a year later, Julia is healthier. She’s still small for her age, but she’s growing.
Julia’s birthday is on Thanksgiving and Kristin says she wanted to knit or collect 83 tiny hats for other preemies in honor of Julia’s birthday.
But word about Kristin’s project spread around.
“To my surprise, I’ve collected 850 hats,” Kristin says. “We still have one more month to go so maybe we’ll crack 1000.”
Kristin’s knitting club, fellow church members and co-workers helped knit tiny hats of all shapes, colors and sizes. She says more are coming in from others who’ve heard about her project and just wanted to help out.
“When Kristin first said she wanted to collect 83 hats I thought that was a great idea and the significance of it, I thought it was going to be a great thing for the neonatal ICU,” says Brennan. “But to have the number that she has now, that’s tremendous and I’m very proud of her.”
Kristin says she will donate all her hats to area hospitals and to families of premature babies.
“I hope it helps them know that people are thinking about them and also that other people have been through it and came out okay.”