Kayleigh Boyd leaves a lasting Legacy ‘Wrapped in Love’

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Kayleigh Boyd

submitted by Jane Adams

Kayleigh Boyd had Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic neurological disorder that affected her ability to speak, walk or use her hands appropriately. What it didn’t affect was her ability to love, give, and create. Kayleigh passed away in July, but her legacy lives on through the more than 1,200 quilts that she made and donated for newborns at Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH).

“Kayleigh loved babies, so this project meant so much to her,” notes her Mom Terry. “We called it ‘Wrapped in Love’ and it was her way of paying it forward and saying thank you to everyone who helped care for her. She wanted to give back.”

Since 2006, Kayleigh, with the support of her care aides, made and donated the quilts. Kayleigh would choose the patterns of fabric at local fabric stores using a voice output system or eye gaze. She would use a special switch to make the battery-operated scissors and sewing machine work. Her helpers and Mom would help her to complete the quilts.

Each month, Kayleigh came to WDMH from her home near South Mountain where she grew up with her mom, father Dean, and two siblings Brekyn and Parker. She would present several quilts at each visit. There were ones for boys, girls, and every special occasion from Valentine’s Day to Christmas – each one unique with Kayleigh’s own design.

Kayleigh’s perseverance and strength were inspiring. Terry notes: “Kayleigh’s brain knew what to tell her body to do, but it just couldn’t respond. It took Kayleigh nine years to learn how to move her hand to hit a switch to power the sewing machine, but she did it. She enjoyed her days, and she had a purpose.”

“Kayleigh has been a well-known name in the WDMH Family Birthing department for many years,” notes Jenn Merkley, Family Birthing Unit Team Leader. “From her special quilt for each special occasion to all the others donated in between, you could see the love and attention to detail in each one. Our families were always so appreciative to receive this gift and hear her story. The WDMH team would like to send our love and thoughts to the Boyd family.”

Kayleigh’s legacy will live on with the blankets that will no doubt be passed down from generation to generation. “We can’t say enough about Winchester Hospital and how they cared for Kayleigh,” adds Terry. “It took an entire team.”

 

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