Retired Norton Healthcare nurse knits hats for NICU babies Louisville

Marcia Purol creates hand-knitted hats for premature babies at Norton Women's and Children's Hospital

As a nurse, Marcia Purol used her hands to give chemotherapy and blood transfusion.

But in retirement, her fingers maneuver a completely different kind of needle to care for patients ― she knits googly eyes for turkeys and carrot noses for snowmen.

During the past year, Purol has knitted more than 300 hats for premature babies in Norton Healthcare’s neonatal intensive care units. Using scraps and spare balls of yarn, she’s become a milliner of sorts for the hospital system’s tiniest patients. Each month she dreams up unique, seasonal designs that celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Kentucky Derby, Halloween, and most recently, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah.

“Those little babies they’re special, you know, but they’re not very pretty,” she said, kindly, referring to the machines, cords, and tubes it often takes to keep them alive. “They need something to pretty them up a little bit. … I figured a little silly hat might help.”

Amelia Power sports one of the turkey-themed hats created by Marcia Purol.  Purol, a volunteer, knits the hats and gives them to the premature babies at Norton Women's and Children's Hospital.

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Her mother taught her to knit when she was a child. She started with Barbie clothes, and now as an adult, she knits every day as a stress reliever. She’s done countless projects over the years, and she’s built up an incredible stash of yarn as she’s made hats, socks, sweaters, and even blankets.


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