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Teen creates 'Tiny Hugs' for NICU babies

She kicked off a special project to bring comfort to the tiniest of patients and their families.

BUFORD, Ga. — When Buford teen Bryn Hammock was stuck in quarantine, she decided to put her sewing skills to the test. 

"I could sew by hand, but I had never sewn with a machine before," Hammock told 11Alive. 

But thanks to Facetime, her grandmother walked her through the process, kicking off a special project to bring comfort to the tiniest of patients and their families.

"Tiny Hugs make babies feel like they're being held," Hammock explained. "It helps position them and hold tubes. It helps with skeletal development."

With her grandmother, who is a former pediatric nurse and Hammock's current Girl Scout troop leader, the teen began sewing the special comfort items; weighted gloves, meant to mimic a mother's touch.  

Credit: WXIA

"It basically is like a weighted blanket for the babies in the NICU," Hammock said. "It feels like they have a hand on them when their parents can't be there with them."

The item is of particular comfort for families, some of whom could only spend limited time in the hospital during the height of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Hammock initially set out to craft 30 Tiny Hugs but ended up creating a video, remotely instructing a team of helpers to help her make 140. The Tiny Hugs were delivered to seven hospitals across Georgia, including the hospital where Hammock herself was born and spent brief time in the NICU. 

Credit: Kelley Hammock

Ultimately, Hammock earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for her efforts, joining both her mother and grandmother as the third generation in her family to earn the highest honor awarded by the Girl Scouts Program.

Families, too, reached out to share their appreciation for the Tiny Hugs.

"I just wanted to make sure they're loved and helped when they're in that hard situation," Hammock said.

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