The Arbors at Buck Run Resident Knits Hundreds of Baby Caps Yearly For Temple Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery
Soft Heart, Soft Yarn and More than 100,000 Stitches a Year … a Warm-Hearted Story for the Holiday Season
MARTHA MORGAN, 95, OF THE ARBORS AT BUCK RUN KNITS HUNDREDS OF BABY CAPS EVERY YEAR FOR TEMPLE HOSPITAL’S MOST FRAGILE INFANTS
Martha Morgan, a resident of The Arbors at Buck Run Assisted Living in Feasterville, is best known among her neighbors for perpetually having her knitting needles and skeins of super soft yarns in pastel colors either right in-hand or close by. She applies her abundant talent and time to creating very tiny baby caps for some of the region’s most fragile infants --- those served by the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery at Temple University Health System in North Philadelphia. Many generous individuals around the region do similar needlework. But it’s the amazing volume of her individual output that frequently evokes surprise: often producing one hat per day in her living room at The Arbors in Lower Bucks County, Mrs. Morgan typically has sent hundreds of caps per year to the hospital.
It’s conservatively estimated that Temple University Health System has gratefully accepted well over a thousand finished caps over the past five and a half years. With each cap requiring approximately 500 stitches, it’s estimated that Martha Morgan knits over well over 100,000 stitches a year that provide essential warmth for delicate preemies and newborn babies she has never seen nor met.
The deliveries to the hospital are made by a most special courier. Mrs. Morgan’s daughter Debbie Sims, RNC, MSN, is a neonatal intensive care nurse in that unit at Temple University Health Systems. Raised by her family in nearby Churchville, Bucks County, Sims is a devoted daughter who treasures time visiting her beloved mom, 95 years old and now a great-great grandmother. In between visits to The Arbors, Sims purchases only the softest acrylic yarns to keep her mom well stocked in pretty pastels. “I love knowing my mom is busy doing something that she really enjoys. Every time I come to her apartment, like magic there’s another array of little hats waiting for me on her coffee table to take back to the hospital. And every day on the job, I’m really thrilled when I walk around the unit and I see our little babies wearing my mom’s handwork. It makes me think of her.”
For Chantel Terry of Germantown, the sight of these caps evokes happy memories too. Terry is the mom of twins Mikiya and Mikayla Gray who were cared for by Nurse Debbie Sims at Temple’s Neonatal Intensive Care nursery when they were born in September 2012, weighing less than three pounds each. After several weeks staying at the hospital, the girls were discharged and this first-time mom is now able to care for her precious babies at home. They are thriving. Terry explains, “My daughters are now over six pounds each. When I see the caps that were placed on them from the day they were born, I remember how far we’ve come.” She appreciates the physical warmth that Mrs. Morgan’s caps provided for her girls at the fragile beginning of their lives and also the emotional warmth that knits her to another mother she has never met, eighteen miles north in Bucks County.
The medical team at The Arbors at Buck Run, an Assisted Living Residence designed for seniors to age in place, is also enthusiastic about Martha Morgan’s work.” The manual dexterity and eye-hand coordination that Mrs. Morgan maintains through constant knitting are surely beneficial to her overall health,” explained Tara Amarhanov, RN, BSN, director of nursing. “It’s not a cliché when we say ‘use it or lose it’. We encourage all seniors to find physical and mental outlets that keep their minds and bodies stimulated.”
“We also love that Mrs. Morgan’s needlework preserves a craft that is dying out in younger generations of women,” added Victoria Fisher, RN, BSN, and executive director of The Arbors at Buck Run. “When we grew up, everyone knew people who knitted and crocheted. We hope the moms who receive this handwork may become curious about how to do it too and learn to knit. That’s another wonderful gift Martha Morgan gives us all Inspiration!”
A premier assisted living and memory care community in Feasterville, PA, The Arbors at Buck Run is owned and managed by Capital Health Group, LLC, a company with a portfolio located across ten states, which includes independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities. In 2012, Capital Health Group, LLC completed an extensive year-long renovation of two buildings on the Arbors campus, offering 105 luxurious residential units in a tranquil suburban setting in lower Bucks County.
For more information about The Arbors at Buck Run, please contact 215-322-4960. The website is http://www.arborsbuckrun.com.
ABOUT CAPITAL HEALTH GROUP LLC
Capital Health Group, LLC was formed in 2006 to acquire and develop senior housing and healthcare facilities. Senior management has over 100 years of combined experience in healthcare real estate and extensive relationships with leading senior housing owners. After the close of planned transactions in early 2012, CHG will have ownership interests in 17 facilities with 1,653 beds. The portfolio, located across ten states, includes independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities.