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Toasty . . . Charlie McMurray (15 months), who had open heart surgery when he was 5 days old in Starship Hospital in Auckland, tries out one of the new blankets knitted for the hospital by Gore Hokonui Lions Club members. PHOTO: LATISHA MCMURRAY

Babies in Auckalnd’ Starhship Hospital will be snug as bugs in rugs this winter thanks to the efforts of the Gore Hokonui Lions Club members.

Lions club member Nola Howden said the members knitted cot-sized blankets for the babies heart surgery ward in the hospital.

The project came about because her great-great nephew Charlie McMurray, of Mt Nicholas Station, near Queenstown, needed heart surgery after he was born.

He had the surgery five days later.

When Charlie’s mother Latisha saw the cot blankets at Starship she decided they were “a bit shabby and they could do with some new ones,” Mrs Howden said.

Mt Nicholas Station provided the merino wool for the blankets.

Fifteen blankets were knitted.

The Lions members were very impressed with the wool, she said.

“Some said they had never knitted with such nice wool.

“It will be as warm and snuggy as.”

Charlie was now 15 months old and was thriving.

“He’s amazing.

“For what he’s been through, you wouldn’t know.”