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UT Health Henderson receives donation of hand-crocheted baby blankets

Henderson Blanket Donation

After welcoming a granddaughter this fall, Sharon Statler was moved to spend her time giving back so other new parents would have something special, especially in difficult times.

Statler crocheted baby blankets and hats, which she recently donated to UT Health Henderson’s Family Birthplace.

“It touched my heart a little more because of the COVID situation and so many mothers giving birth to babies during this time,” Statler said.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit home with Statler — she, her daughter and son-in-law all tested positive for the virus shortly after her granddaughter, Elizabeth Noel, was born in September. Thankfully, all recovered and the baby did not catch the virus. It was after that experience that she started thinking about giving back, and channeled her grief from her own lost pregnancy 41 years ago into her crocheting.

“It was during this time it came to me. I was thinking about how dangerous that situation was and how fortunate and blessed we were that Elizabeth Noel was born healthy and I thought about my baby that I had lost,” Statler said.

She said while she was working on the blankets, she thought often of her son Christian, who died in utero at three and a half months, and recalled that he didn’t have a baby blanket or hat small enough to fit his head when he was born.

“I want any baby to benefit from (the hats and blankets), but I want the parents to know, for the ones that didn’t make it, someone cared and that someone was thinking of them,” Statler said. “I prayed over every single one of them. I want them to know there was a prayer and a blessing over each one, for their blessing.”

Krissy Chastain, chief nursing officer for UT Health Henderson, said the donation was a welcome surprise.

“Having a baby can be overwhelming even in the best of times, but especially so at this time given the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chastain said. “What a wonderful thing to be able to give the mothers in our Family Birthplace such a heartfelt gift made with love.”

Krissy Chastain (left), chief nursing officer of UT Health Henderson, and Janet Neal (right), director of the Family Birthplace at UT Health Henderson, accept a donation of crocheted baby blankets and hats from Henderson resident Sharon Statler.

Sharon Statler wears a ring with the name and birthdate of the son she lost in her third month of pregnancy 41 years ago. Statler said she thought of him often while she was crocheting baby blankets and hats that she donated to UT Health Henderson’s Family Birthplace.

Krissy Chastain (from left), chief nursing officer of UT Health Henderson, Janet Neal, director of the Family Birthplace at UT Health Henderson, and Henderson resident Sharon Statler discuss Statler’s donation of hand-crocheted baby blankets and hats.

About UT Health East Texas

UT Health East Texas provides care to thousands of patients each year through an extensive regional network that includes 10 hospitals, more than 50 clinics, the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, an EMS fleet of more than 50 ambulances and four helicopters, and a comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, including the region’s only Level 1 trauma facility.

As a partner with The University of Texas System, UT Health East Texas is uniquely positioned to provide patients with access to leading-edge research and clinical therapies while training and educating the next generation of physicians and other health professionals. The nationally recognized UT System also includes UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, as well as three other major university medical centers located throughout the state.