A fuchsia-lined quilt with patches of various colors and patterns drapes over the back of an armchair. A matching teddy bear nestles next to it.
From afar, it’s a vibrant sight — for one mother, it’s a memento symbolizing a long, successful journey.
Angela’s daughter, Isabella, a patient in the Center for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, recently accomplished something incredible: finishing 91 days on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a heart-lung bypass that helps a baby’s lungs develop, and moving one step closer to breathing on her own.
“When they’re on ECMO, there’s this foam in the isolette, so you get new pillowcases to cover it with all the time,” Angela recalls. “We had a pretty huge collection of the pillowcases, all different patterns and colors.”
When she mentioned that she would love to have something to remember Isabella’s journey by, she was introduced to Nicole Rozier, a nurse in the unit known for her crocheting and quilting abilities.
Rozier took the time to talk with Angela and learn more about Isabella’s story. A short two weeks later, she brought back the final products — with an extra, loving touch.
“I try to put it in a box and wrap it like a gift, because these parents are stuck there for months,” Rozier says. “Especially during quarantine, they’re alone — they have nobody there, so getting a big, pink box wrapped with a bow is kind of special.”
Special doesn’t begin to cover it. Three quilts and two teddy bears were created from the pillowcases, for mom and dad, Isabella, and Isabella’s big sister.
“She put so much heart into it, and it’s something that I don’t think she’ll ever understand how much it means to us,” Angela says. “Isabella truly is a miracle. This is something that we’ll have to always remind her of all that she has overcome.”
To express her profound gratitude and pay it forward, Angela makes a donation to the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation in honor of Rozier.
But to Rozier, the extra touch is no big feat.
“Everyone in the family has a little piece of this journey. They’re all a part of it.”