Artist creates special gifts for parents at Cook Children's Hospital

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on June 16, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 17 at 9:09 AM

FORT WORTH - Father's Day is Sunday.

For some dads, just holding their newborn baby would be a great gift. At Fort Worth’s Cook Children's Hospital, some dads can’t touch their babies yet because they’re too small.

"Some of us just started out a little smaller than others," said grandmother Sara Pittman.

Her granddaughter, Lily Jessen, was born March 30, which was three months before her July 4 due date.

Grandfather Franz Pittman calls her his miracle baby.

“We've had some up hills and some down hills, but it looks like right now we are on our way home," the grandfather told News 8.

They spent 12 hours a day at Lily’s crib side, rotating shifts with her parents and praying for medical miracles. Now, they have something to remember those moments.

Diana Gibson is an artist in residence at Cook Children’s Hospital. She is painting the tiniest toes in the NICU, and pressing the little feet on cozies. It’s a small Father’s Day gift with a big impact.

"It's just something really important to them, really precious to them to have something to hold in their hands and take home with them when they can't take their babies home," Gibson said.

She said some dads have cried when they see their child’s imprint on a simple water bottle. 

"There was a dad earlier that was covered in tattoos and he came in, 'Wow, look. look. That's his foot,'" Gibson said. "He was just really excited to have it."

Lily is just opening her eyes to see her first Father’s Day.

When her family leaves Cook Children’s, they'll celebrate many more, and always hold on to their tiny work of art.

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