Valley woman who overcame illness makes comfort blankets for others

Melany Niemiec is not a seamstress by trade, she's a trauma nurse, but making blankets became a passion after the now-24-year-old fell gravely ill two years ago.

"When I got sick I was 100 percent healthy and then I got the flu and the flu kind of knocked me off my feet," she said.

A few short weeks later, unable to walk, dizzy, and with an inconsistent heart rate, Melany was admitted to the ER.

"It was 20 days into the hospital experience that I finally got an answer as to what was going on, "she said. "Post-Ortastic Teco Cardio Syndrome."

For Melany, the 32 days she spent in the hospital were filled with uncertainty and fear, but she found strength and courage in her family, friends, and her blanket.

"I love having a blanket, it's my comfort item," she said. "I have one with me wherever I go all the time. I'm in the hospital a lot, so whenever I am in the hospital, that's what I take with me."

In January of 2017, Melany started a non-profit called Brave Soul Blankets. She sent out 80 blankets to chronically ill young adults and says she chose that age group because so many other organizations can't help them.

"They love them, we have such a positive response," she said.

Recipients are nominated through the organization's website and the blankets are made specific to their likes.

"Melany has already made more than 15 blankets this year, but there's a desperate need for fabric, supplies, and money to send them.

She hopes others can donate to Brave Soul Blankets, in turn, helping her sooth a young sick soul.