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Little Hats, Big Hearts delivers special gifts to local newborns

In honor of Mother’s Day and the whole month of May the American Heart Association, along with Mission Produce, will be delivering a tiny red gift to newborns to a couple of local hospitals.

Newborns like little Waylon Watts who was born the day before Mother’s Day at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura.

“It was really exciting to enjoy him on Mother’s Day,” said Lisa Watts, Ventura resident and Waylon’s mom.

Before he leaves the hospital, he received a special little gift: a little red knitted beanie.

“I am really happy that my baby is healthy, because that is one of the things that you worry about during a pregnancy and I am 41 years old so I am considered old, so they did all the tests and knowing that my baby has a healthy heart is paramount to me,” Watts said.

Waylon is just one of 300 babies to receive a knitted red hat thanks to the Little Hats, Big Hearts program put on by the American Heart Association.

“The Little Hats, Big Hearts program draws awareness to the fact that congenital heart defect is the number one defect that babies are born with and currently about 40,000 babies per year are born with a heart defects and so we just want to make parents aware that this is something that 1.3 million Americans are living with right now,” said Katie Beck with the American Heart Association. “But we have had great scientific breakthroughs that are helping babies that are born with heart defects live long into adulthood.”

“Over the past five years we have implemented a program that does congenital heart defects screening for a newborn, to keep our newborns safe,” said Adam Thunell, Senior Vice President of Community Memorial Hospital. “We have a new hospital and a new unit and so what we are doing is that we are in the process of really raising awareness.”

Where these tiny red beanies came from is extra special.

“We call on volunteers all across the county from Ventura County to Santa Barbara County,” said Beck. “We have lots of ladies and men knitting hats for us.”

“We had all of our employees at the office a couple of months ago take their whole lunch and each one of us knitted our own hat,” said Jenna Rose Lee from Mission Produce.

Little Hats, Big Hearts will continue to give out the red beanies to babies during the whole month of May.

“I think it is a beautiful way to raise awareness for a healthy heart,” said Watts.

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