WILMINGTON -- The hospital is the last place anyone wants to be during the holidays. But two volunteers at New Hanover Regional are trying to bring the holiday spirit to one patient, one stitch at a time. You could call the quilt a labor of love. "It took about three months and I figured about 250 hours," Hospital volunteer Pat Holmes said. "I'd say today I did a for apple, the next week I'd see her and say, well I'm on the F, and finally when I got down to the M she realized it was for someone here." A double entendre, considering the woman who received the quilt as a gift has been in the hospital for the past 41 days because of complications with her pregnancy. Expecting mother Clare Roemen said, "These days all I can really do is sit and wait and hope for the best." For hospital volunteers Pat Holmes and Louise Howell made the quilt, the amount of time they spent stitching it together is well worth it judging by the smile on Roemen's face. "It's such a tremendous thing for someone to do, and to think of someone they've never met before, it does make the holidays better, especially since it's such a nerve-racking time for me." Mrs. Roemen's husband was deployed to Iraq shortly after she was admitted to the hospital, but the blanket is just one more reminder that she's not alone. She said, "I can certainly say that my stay here has been made much easier because of the tremendous support I've gotten from everyone, including the volunteers who made this wonderful quilt." There is good news in store for Roemen, she is hoping to be released from the hospital Thursday and not return until her twins are due in mid-January. Her husband is expected to return to Wilmington in August, when the girls will be about seven months old.
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