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Haverhill nurse's appeal for knitted sleeves for premature babies goes global




Surrounded by sacks full of post, paediatric nurse Catherine McConville can hardly believe the global reaction to a post she shared on social media asking for knitted cannula covers for premature babies.

Mrs McConville works at the Charles Wolfson ward for premature/neonatal babies aged under one, at the Rosie Hospital, in Cambridge.

Having given thought to the fact that the ward needed more of the hand-knitted sleeves staff use to cover the babies’ cannulas (intravenous tubes), she asked Olivia Cundell, who is the creator of the Warm Baby Project, to help her get the word out there by posting on the project’s Facebook page.

Catherine McConville posted an appeal on Facebook for knitted cannula covers for premature babies. By the time this photo was taken last Saturday she had received nine sacks full of the covers with seven more sacks due to be delivered this week. Picture by Richard Marsham/RMG Photography.
Catherine McConville posted an appeal on Facebook for knitted cannula covers for premature babies. By the time this photo was taken last Saturday she had received nine sacks full of the covers with seven more sacks due to be delivered this week. Picture by Richard Marsham/RMG Photography.

That was on Monday of last week and within two days the post had been shared almost 100,000 times (it now stands at more than 111,000) and had more than 26,000 comments (now 31,000). Mrs McConville, who has four children, aged 11, 13, 15 and 18, has now been inundated with messages and the sacks of post.

She said: “We have a lot of small babies. I’ve been a nurse for 20 years and I started there (The Rosie) in October and one of the things we use is a knitted cover to go over the cannulas.

“We use the little covers to stop the babies scratching their faces.

“They get used by a patient and they can take them home for their memory box or whatever.

“I had noted Olivia’s page. I just popped a message to her and she put it on there and I just wrote down the pattern and asked for what I need and for some reason the post just went crazy.

“Everyone shared it. Every craft page I’m on (Mrs McConville is a keen crafter) has seen it and shared it.

“I’ve had messages from Australia, China, America, South Africa, Dubai and France.

“It’s amazing. It is just so lovely.”

Within three days of the post going on Facebook Mrs McConville had had three sackfuls of post arrive at her Roman Way home and more have kept on coming.

She has also been told by many parents of the ‘positive psychological impact’ that the cannula sleeves have had on them.

Mrs McConville said she had also received messages from staff at residential homes saying that the people living in the homes were now knitting the covers.

She added: “Nursing is amazing really and it is just lovely to be able to help people.”

To see the message go to Facebook and search for Warm Baby Project.


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