SUMMERSIDE – What started as a search for a hobby to pass the time for has gained a new purpose for Hilary Gallant.
“I was searching for ideas when I came across the Facebook page, Finger Puppets for IWK. After scrolling through the page, I saw that they were also asking people to crochet hats for preemies, newborns and others.”
Four years ago, Gallant taught herself to crochet while on maternity leave with her son, Oliver. After deciding she wanted to help with puppets and hats, Gallant dusted off her crocheting needles and got to work.
“I hadn’t crocheted for a while, but after a couple hats it’s like it all came flooding back.
“I hope through this I can make a positive impact. It’s nice to be able to contribute something. Oliver loves to help me and others and I would love for that habit to stick with him, as he gets older. I think it’s important for kids to learn compassion as they grow up.”
Gallant and Oliver have a personal connection to the IWK.
Oliver has severe a peanut allergy and is also allergic to eggs.
His allergy to peanuts came as a total surprise for Gallant.
“I ate peanut butter all through my pregnancy. I don’t have any food allergies and neither does his dad. I was hesitant to have him try it, but I never expected it would turn out as bad as it did.”
Oliver’s face, throat and tongue became swollen and his body was covered in hives.
Since then, Gallant has taken Oliver to the IWK each year to meet with an allergy specialist.
“It’s nice to have that resource to monitor his allergies. We’re definitely grateful for the facility’s services. Right now, I’m thankful for the most part that if he stays away from the foods he’s allergic to, he’s fine. But as he is coming to school age it’s getting scary. To be safe, he carries an EpiPen.”
Gallant hopes efforts by the Facebook group and other volunteers helps the families at the IWK stay positive.
“I’m sure a lot of families who are there are far from their home. I think it’s great the hospital provides so much support to patients and families but I also hope that doing this for these families helps them stay positive and hopeful. It might make their stay there a little easier because they know they have communities of people supporting them.”
Gallant says she is happy to take any donations of crocheted hats and puppets to the IWK as well as receiving blankets and baby clothes when she takes her son in the summer for his appointment.
To get in contact with Gallant, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Finger Puppets for IWK as well as patterns and instructions, sizing and other knitting/crocheting information go to https://www.facebook.com/iwkfingerpuppets/.