Columbia Women Knits 3,000 Baby Hats for Boone Hospital

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COLUMBIA - A local woman continues to say thank you to Boone Hospital nine years after she said doctors saved her life. 91-year-old Eda Wegener knits baby hats for the infants born at Boone Hospital. She wanted to give back to the hospital after she nearly died from a brain aneurysm in 2002.

"They took really good care of me at Boone Hospital, so I didn't have much money to give to them, so I thought heavens I can knit baby hats for them," Wegener said.

Following the aneurysm, she underwent brain surgery, suffered a shattered hip and spent 66 days at Boone Hospital.

"And eventually they got rid of me and I'm sure they were happy," Wegener said.

She isn't new to the craft of knitting. She said she started perfecting the skill at the age of three.

"I started out with two wooden skewers, used for sticking into meat and my father taught me how to knit," she said.

Originally from England, she got her start with needle and thread when she knitted long stockings for her father.

"It's just a desire to be helpful," Wegener said.

She left her family behind and traveled alone to the United States for American soldier Will Wegener, who she fell in love with while he was stationed in England during WWII.

She said this is the version of the story he always told about the pair, "Here I thought I had gotten rid of her and what happens one day she shows up on my door step... so I had to marry her and we were married for 64 years."

Wegener said she doesn't like to be idle and enjoys doing something to help someone, like how Boone Hospital helped her. So far, Wegener said since her aneurysm she's knitted more than 3,000 infant caps for the hospital and isn't stopping there.

"I guess I'd have to say these little caps have captured my heart," Wegener said.

Boone Hospital nurses said they go through the caps fast. Last month, the hospital broke its record for the most babies born in a month. The new record stands at 213 babies in August 2012.