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Former NICU baby makes face mask covers for neonatal staff: 'He wanted to help'

A Georgia mom and her 5-year-old son are paying it forward.
/ Source: TODAY

Five years ago, neonatal nurses worked around the clock caring for Kristy Rae Carnaghi’s son, Christian, who was born six weeks early.

Now, the Georgia-based mom and her preschooler are paying it forward by making face mask covers for NICU staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Former NICU baby Christian Carnaghi, 5, has been making face mask covers for NICU staff amid the coronavirus crisis.Courtesy of Kristy Rae Carnaghi

The colorful, washable gear is meant to be worn over medical-grade masks to make them last longer — and look less scary. They are not designed to block the spread of COVID-19.

“Christian sits on my lap and cuts the elastic and holds the material in place,” Carnaghi, 45, told TODAY Parents. “Of course, we’ve gone slower than most, but he really wanted to help.”

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Carnaghi and Christian are hard at work on their second batch of covers. Christian understands they are going to people who cared for him when he was sick.

Kristy Rae Carnaghi and her son, Christian, are making face mask covers for NICU nurses while they practice social distancing.Courtesy of Kristy Rae Carnaghi

“The nurse I’ve been speaking with said the mask (covers) would brighten everyone's day,” Carnaghi said. “They appreciate that they’re coming from a NICU baby.”

Carnaghi said this is the most important lesson she will teach Christian, who is being homeschooled amid the COVID-1 health crisis.

Christian Carnaghi was featured on TODAY's "Baby of the Week" segment in 2014.

“I’m proud of him,” she said. “He’s doing something proactive to help.”

Christian is a friend of the TODAY show. Back in 2014, he was selected to be featured on the "Babies of the Week" segment!