Jessica Lambrick and Isaac Miller left Saanich for BC Children’s Hospital in November while Lambrick was 39 weeks pregnant. The couple returned home a few short weeks later with no baby.
Hannah Miller was just six days old when she died of a congenital lung defect, alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins (ACD/MPV). Fewer than 200 infants worldwide have ever been diagnosed with the rare disorder that makes it hard for the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
What Lambrick and Miller did come home with, though, was a quilt, handmade by volunteers and donated to BC Children’s.
“It was really important that we had that blanket from the Pumpkin Seeds. When we relocated to Vancouver we didn’t have any of our possessions. But we had this for Hannah,” Lambrick says. “It was something to hold when we left the hospital without her. It really had a huge impact on us.”
The Pumpkin Seeds is a group of 22 women based out of Vancouver that has been quilting and donating out of a love of giving for more than 17 years.
“It’s something we really enjoy doing. Everyone in the group gets great satisfaction from giving,” says Pumpkin Seed founding member Ione MacLennan, a former Victoria resident who learned to quilt while living here in the 1980s. She now lives in Vancouver.
“The nurses have said to us that sometimes they need to take a break from a grieving family or a family waiting on a child in surgery, and going to the locker and picking a quilt and coming back is something nice for the parents, something that brings them a bit of comfort.”
Lambrick is now following in the loving footsteps of the Pumpkin Seeds with her own blanket-making group, Hearts for Hannah.
“The quilt had a really big impact on us. So I wanted to give back by crocheting,” Lambrick says. “I got together nine women in my life who all feel a really deep connection and love for Hannah, and we all together dedicate our time and talent and yarn, for other families and other babies that fought hard like Hannah.”
Lambrick, 29, learned to crochet while in university, and she and a friend sold handmade dish clothes at craft fairs to make a little bit of money.
The goal is to donate at least 100 blankets to BC Children’s Hospital on Dec. 4, 2014 – what would have been Hannah’s first birthday. So far the group has made 33 blankets.
While Lambrick doesn’t have space in her living room to fit more crocheters at the monthly meeting, anyone interested in donating yarn or crocheted blankets to assist Hearts for Hannah would be greatly appreciated, she says.
“This is just another way that we’re honouring Hannah,” Lambrick says. “We live our lives to the fullest now for her, and this is just another way of giving back in her memory.”
Anybody interested in making a donation to Hearts for Hannah can contact Lambrick at email@example.com.