AKRON, Ohio - Thousands of red hats knitted by hundreds of volunteers will be given to children at Akron Children's Hospital. It's all to draw awareness to heart disease.
Zyaire Reed is the first baby at that hospital to get a new, hand-knitted red hat.
The tubes and wires attached to Zyaire can't hide chubby cheeks and his sweet spirit that you can see in his dark brown eyes, but it will be a while longer before he can go home and join his older brother and sister.
His shirt says he's mommy's heartbreaker, but he's the one with a heart that for right now is broken.
“He's doing good. He needs heart surgery. He has AV canal and he has a hole in his heart that needs to be fixed," Zyaire’s mom, Kati Krizo, said.
Zyaire is having surgery in two weeks to repair the hole in his heart, but like all babies, you want to make sure he always feels safe and warm.
“All through the year families, friends in the community and all around many, many states are crocheting these hats for this very purpose," Akron Children’s Director of Pediatrics, Dr. Norm Christopher, told Fox 8.
There are lots of children like Zyaire who are born with heart defects and there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening, but the American Heart Association says a lot of heart disease is preventable.
February is heart month and each child that receives a hat will hopefully remind people about their own heart health, and there will be a lot of reminders around town.
“Every newborn who comes into one of our practices will receive one of these. Every year we have typically about 10,000 newborns who join one of our pediatric practices and we're excited they're gonna get a hat too," Dr. Christopher said.
As for Zyaire, he has several more weeks ahead of him before he can go home, but his new red hat will keep him warm when he's not in mom's arms.
It's a present his family will always remember.
If you are interested in knitting or crocheting hats for newborns and other children in the hospital you can contact the American Heart Association in your area.