Lizzie gets baby bonus

MADE WITH LOVE: Lizzie Malone beams with happiness after presenting baby Peppa Wedemeyer with a pair of hand-knitted booties.
MADE WITH LOVE: Lizzie Malone beams with happiness after presenting baby Peppa Wedemeyer with a pair of hand-knitted booties.

WHEN Lizzie Malone was forced from her home at the Baralaba Hospital in April she was heartbroken.

But 22 new-born babies have eased the pain and helped the 92-year-old settle into her room at the Biloela Hospital.

“I really didn't want to leave Baralaba, but I had no choice,” Lizzie said.

“It was difficult (relocating to Biloela), I was really upset.”

Over the past four months regular visits from family and friends and the “terrific staff” at the Biloela Hospital have made Lizzie's move bearable.

But she has found another way to make her time in the Biloela Hospital more enjoyable.

Everytime a baby is born in the labour ward, just down the corridor from Lizzie's temporary home, she presents them with a special gift - a set of hand-knitted booties.

“I love it,” Lizzie says with a smiling breaking in the corner of her mouth.

“The parents are extremely grateful, but best of all, I get to nurse the little ones.”

Lizzie's bedroom wall is plastered with treasured photographs of her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“See all those photographs,” she says pointing to the mosaic of friendly faces.

“Everytime I get to hold a baby, the hospital staff take a photograph.

“It's getting to the stage where I have nearly as many photographs of (the hospital babies) as my own family,” she giggles.

Since May 13, Lizzie has knitted 22 pair of booties, using her own wool, ribbon and a special additive -“a little bit of love”.

“The nurses let me know when they are expecting a baby and I start working on a new pair of booties. Sometimes, if the baby takes a while I will knit a couple of pair just to stock up.”

The idea of supplying the booties came from Biloela Hospital director of nursing Joy Pitman and Lizzie said she was extremely grateful to Joy for making the suggestion.

Tracey Wedemeyer, whose baby Peppa sports a pair of Lizzie's booties said her and husband Luke were overjoyed by the gift.

“We were greatly honoured to receive such a gift from such a kind, loving old lady, that didn't want anything in return,” Tracey said.

“Just to see the smile on her face when she was told she could nurse Peppa herself and the smile on so many other faces as well was something special.

“I hope any other recipients of these gifts show this lady and the older generation of Australia the respect and loving they deserve.”

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