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Connecting with Crochet

Silver Cross employee knits her way into everyone’s heart

Joliet, IL (Dec. 1, 2011) — Nearly 15 years ago, Hortencia Garcia, an Environmental Services Technician in the Silver Cross Hospital Birthing Center, helped a mom-to-be cope with her 7-week stay at the hospital by spending her lunch breaks teaching the patient to crochet a baby blanket for her unborn baby. Garcia’s daily lessons helped relieve the patient’s anxiety and allowed her to pass the time during her stay until her son was born. Together, they crocheted a beautiful blanket and forged a friendship that would be cherished forever.


baby_photoPhoto 1: Hortencia Garcia proudly displays the custom crochet hats and booties she makes for the newborns at Silver Cross Hospital. She donates her time and her own supplies to make sure every baby goes home with a handmade gift.

Photo 2: Proud dad, Dominique Allen holds his new daughter, Aubri Nicole, wearing a festive crochet creation made by Silver Cross employee, Hortencia Garcia.

Garcia knew the power of her knitting long before her time at Silver Cross. “I learned how to crochet from my mother when I was 10, I loved to do it.” She spent a few hours every day learning the basics - taking time to perfect the stitch, add the right colors and create beautiful designs. “When I was 12, I made a beautiful bedspread and my mom gave it away, I was so sad. This is when I realized the impact my crochet had,” shares Garcia.  “I love to crochet. I love sharing that passion with others, when I see a baby go home with my work, I feel good.”

When the supply of new born stocking hats was low at the Hospital, Garcia recalled the impact her talent crocheting had on herself and the excitement a new mom had when dressing her baby soon after delivery. Over the past 16 years, Garcia has dedicated her time to ensuring that each baby goes home with a hand-crocheted hat. She rounds up her yarn and needles and goes to work, spending time customizing her designs for each season. She spends her own money and time creating these beautiful pieces, but is happy to see that her crocheting is part of someone’s start in life. “New moms and dads are delighted to dress their new baby in something that is cozy and cute.  The patient-family centered experience and Hortencia’s crochet designs provide an instant connection for parents and their child to the Silver Cross family,” shares Marilyn Paolella, Director of Maternal/Child Services at Silver Cross Hospital.

The bond Garcia creates with moms on the floor through her hats and booties creates a connection to their lives forever. New parents, Dominique and Patrice Allen of Crest Hill agree, “These knitted hats are wonderful! Our daughter, Aubri, only wears this hat since it fits so well and is so warm.” It is no doubt that these hats will be worn for many of the baby’s firsts-including her first Christmas. “We will cherish this forever, it is so sweet. We are excited to have her wear this home.”

About the new Silver Cross Women and Infant Birthing Center
Silver Cross is bringing together cutting-edge medical technology with spa-like amenities to make the birthing experience all the more memorable.   Opening on Feb. 26, 2012, the new Birthing Center at the Silver Cross Replacement Hospital located at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox will have 12 luxurious birthing suites designed for labor, delivery and recovery so parents can have the convenience of staying in the same room through recovery followed by a stay in one of 30 private mother-baby suites.  Each private suite is fully-equipped with a bathroom with a shower and immersion tub to help with labor pains, blanket warmer, refrigerator, wireless internet access, 30” flat screen TV system, and a comfortable sofa-sleeper so family members can stay around the clock.

Furthermore, a variety of pain relief methods will be available 24 hours a day provided by an anesthesiologist.  And for deliveries requiring surgery, there will be two complete cesarean suites.  Children’s Memorial neonatologists and pediatric hospitalist will continue to be onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And if needed, Children’s pediatric cardiologists will be available to analyze a baby’s echocardiogram in real time through a video linkage with Silver Cross. For more information about the new Silver Cross Women and Infant Birthing Center and to Save Your Due Date for a chance to win $1,000 savings bond for your baby, visit  For a referral to an obstetrician/gynecologist or pediatrician on staff at Silver Cross, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL.

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last seven consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,900 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction is well underway to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).




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