Grandmother knits thousands of hats for babies in neonatal intensive care unit

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

Madeline Umhoefer, 89, has been knitting for 75 years.

For years, the Nebraska grandmother has been providing thousands of tiny knitted hats to infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Omaha's Bergan Mercy Medical Center.

"They've been coming since before I started here," NICU nurse Nicole Bennett said of the hats, each one unique. "I always thought they came from groups that donated to us."

The hats are more than just sweet mementos for parents. They help trap body heat, which is necessary to the health of the tiny patients.

"We have babies that are one-and-a-half to 10 pounds," Bennett told KETV. "She makes hats that fit every size of baby. Every single baby gets them."

Umhoefer estimates she's made over 6,000 baby hats so far and has no plans of stopping.

"I have two great-grandchildren and another on the way, so I'm going to keep knitting," she said.

Bergan Mercy Medical Center recently honoured the legendary volunteer for her generosity and dedication to its young patients.

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