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Using Stitches To Help Pass The Time For Hospital Patients and Families

With needle and thread, artist Lillis Taylor of Birmingham, Alabama, has created a diversion for women enduring extended hospital stays during high-risk pregnancies or anxious waits with infants in the neonatal intensive care unit.

As an artist-in-residence with UAB Hospital’s Arts in Medicine program since 2014, Taylor leads embroidery workshops to teach patients and family members how to create individual embroidered squares that she sews into quilts for them to take home.

“I find embroidery to be an act of meditation,” Taylor says. “For a lot of the patients I work with, their time in the hospital can often seem like a jailsentence. It can be very lonely and frightening. Embroidery is a straightforward skill that is easy to pick up, and it allows them to focus on the positive aspect of doing something kind and loving for their child.”

Taylor says the relaxed, repetitive nature of embroidery is conducive for conversation. This gives nervous mothers and women who are expecting the chance to talk – and bond – while they sew.

“They start chatting with each other about why they are there, and they realize how much they have in common. It builds a support community for them,” she says. “Then, when they go home, they have a blanket or pillow that they made, and it gives them a pleasant memory from this emotional time.”

For taking the time to help, we honor Lillis Taylor as a Whataburger Hometown Hero!

Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950 when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, Texas. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio with more than 900 locations across its 14-state footprint and sales of more than $3 billion annually. Whataburger is a 2022 Top Workplaces winner. The brand has more than 50,000 Family Members (employees) and more than 60 million customers who like to customize their Whataburgers just like they like it. Visit whataburger.com for more information. To apply for Whataburger jobs, visit whataburger.com/careers.

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