Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? While many of the very elderly in America are often thought of more as burdens than productive members of society, a nearly 90-year-old man from Acworth, Georgia, is proving them wrong, one knitted cap at a time.
On the surface, Ed Moseley seems like an ordinary resident of the Dogwood Forest Assisted Living center north of Atlanta. He’s a retired engineer who loves visits from his family, watching golf on TV, and socializing with his friends, and is even learning to paint by numbers. The grandpa who is battling cancer kept his own health issues a secret as per Fox News.
But Ed’s everyday life changed a lot when his care facility was challenged by its corporate office to knit hats for premature babies being treated in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at the Northside Hospital in Atlanta. For these babies whose lives are hanging in the balance and for their parents, who are on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, it’s a small gesture that can make a big difference.
When the call to knit came to Dogwood Forest, Ed wasn’t the most likely candidate to participate. While he knew a lot about engineering, he had never sewed or knitted in his life. But that didn’t stop him from throwing himself into a project.
As Ed told ABC, “I prevailed on my daughter to get a kit, and it comes with the right size loom and the right tools to help you knit one.” When reporters expressed surprise that he had been able to pick it up pretty quickly, after just a couple of tries, he joked with Inside Edition that he did have some credentials: “I’m an engineer and I can read.”
Pretty soon, Ed and his care manager were devoting most of their days to knitting caps and even trying to get other residents involved, with mixed success. He joked to ABC that he “must be a lousy instructor, because I didn’t get many takers.” He would always joke to fellow residents that if even he could learn how to knit, they surely could too!
Despite that, he proved to be an incredibly prolific knitter, stacking his accumulated creations on his couch until there wasn’t any room left to sit. In the end, Ed and his fellow residents at Dogwood Forest showed up at Northside Hospital to deliver their contribution—a whopping 300 baby caps, 55 of which Ed had made.
— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) November 21, 2016
The hospital was really touched to see the effort these seniors had put into the project. The clinical manager at Northside, nurse Linda Kelly said the hats help them comfort parents just as much as the preemies. “It’s important for families to see their baby as a baby and not as a patient. This will help to get the families to that spot,” she told Today.
Meanwhile, Ed keeps trucking along with his knitting projects and has even branched to making caps for the kids in his life, his eight great-grandchildren. The director of Dogwood Forest, JoAn Hobbs, was incredibly proud of Ed and the others who joined the project. “It’s amazing to think how many lives his caps will touch.”
Like many seniors who sometimes feel left behind and left out by the rest of society, Ed really appreciated the chance to make a difference. As he told Today, helping out the preemies made him feel great: “it’s really nice to make a product that somebody really needs and has a purpose.”