Wichita woman remembers late son through volunteer work

Courtesy: Christina Monaghan

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas hospitals are celebrating American Heart Month by giving out red hats to babies born during February.

The Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of heart disease and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the United States.

“It’s a way to raise awareness and provide information to families who are affected by heart disease,” said Little Hats, Big Hearts volunteer Christina Monaghan.

Monaghan and her husband were one of the first recipients of a red hat in 2014.

“Our son Nathaniel was born on February 13 and on Valentines Day they came in and presented us with a hat. We really appreciated it and felt really cared for by the people who made those hats,” Monaghan said.

The hats are crocheted or knitted by volunteers and then sent to area hospitals. Monaghan said she never planned to volunteer with the Little Hats, Big Hearts program, but after she lost her son in 2015 she decided it was a great way to give back.

“He was diagnosed with leukemia at 5 months old and at 15 months old he passed away,” she said. “It makes me feel really happy. It brings some joy. Even though Nathaniel is not with us, it’s a way that we celebrate him in February.”

Twenty seven hospitals across Kansas are participating in the campaign. Officials said they expect to give out nearly 1,200 hats.