86-year-old man with cancer teaches himself to knit, helps deliver 300 hats to preemies

An 86-year-old man is being credited for going above and beyond to help provide 300 knit caps for premature babies.

Ed Moseley is a resident at Dogwood Forest Assisted Living in Acworth, Georgia.

The facility's Life Enrichment Director, Meg Lipper tells KTVU Fox 2 that the retired engineer taught himself to knit as part of a challenge put forth by the Dogwood Forest corporate office back in August, calling on its communities to make as many baby caps as possible.

The caps would go to Northside Hospital in Atlanta, which delivers the most babies in the U.S. and cares for about 2,000 premature infants each year.

Moseley did not shy away from the baby cap challenge and took it upon himself to rally others to answer the call.

He organized a hat knitting group, telling participants that if he can teach himself this new skill, so can they.

"He brought everyone together," said Lipper.

But after that initial push, not enough folks ended up participating in the challenge. "But Ed was still going on this," Lipper explained. "And one thing led to another."

Moseley was not about to give up. He recruited his care-manager and other staff at the assisted living center. Friends and family members even got on board.

In the end, Moseley had more than 300 hand-knitted caps to present to the Northside Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Moseley and a team that included about a dozen of his fellow residents at Dogwood Forest, delivered the caps last Thursday, which marked World Prematurity Day, established as part of an effort to raise awareness about babies born prematurely.

The handmade gifts touched many parents with babies in the hospital's NICU. They expressed gratitude for the care and time that was spent to create the knit caps.

Patricia and Douglas Bunt's baby was in the NICU and a recipient of a knit cap.

Baby Matthew was born on Nov. 12, at 35 weeks.

"It's very nice that so many people care about the babies in the NICU. Being up here is so disruptive to your every day and knowing that people care enough to help parents is so appreciated," said Patricia Bunt.

"It's great to receive these wonderful gifts. Many times our families don't expect to be introduced to the special care nursery, so to have a gift left at the bedside, or a nurse put the hat on the little baby's head, makes it all seem less like a hospital," said Linda Kelly, RN, clinical manager at Northside Hospital's special care nursery.

"It is the little things that many people don't think are a big deal that are usually the most special things for these parents who are very anxious and worried about their little babies," Kelly said.

Lipper adds that there was one thing about Moseley's act of kindness that moved her beyond words.

"This just catches my heart," she said. While working toward making the tiny gifts for babies at Northside Hospital, Ed was also being treated there for cancer, undergoing chemotherapy.

A humble man and not one to enjoy the spotlight, he did not make make that information widely known, Lipper explained.

He is aware of how many lives he has touched, as his story has been circulated online.

But it's not about the attention, Lipper said. "It's about paying it forward."

She said Moseley and many of his fellow residents are living by the motto that they can do their part to make a difference in this life.