For 20 years, babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center at Cedars-Sinai have gotten a special treat: handmade Halloween costumes.
That's due to the work of Dorothy Williams, who says she was inspired by a nurse when she had her own premature twin babies nearly 40 years ago - on Valentine's Day a nurse left a tiny heart on the incubator that read, "Happy Valentine's Day. I love you Mom."
Williams loved the gesture and began to pay that back, first by volunteering to support families with babies in the NICU. When holidays came around, she began to make themed beanies for the infants. Then in 1997 she took on an even bigger challenge: Full Halloween costumes. Everyone took notice, families loved it, and now she has friends and Cedars-Senai staff who pitch in to help. It's a big job, so they start early in September.
This year, she has also inspired her 13-year-old granddaughter and the child's friend in Girl Scouts, who are helping make costumes inspired by children's book characters. They are also giving the families of NICU infants a copy of the book as well.
Thanks for all you do, Miss Dorothy!