LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - There may not be many times that a Broadway costume designer and a pediatric nurse could join forces to help their community, than during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two siblings have created an initiative that will benefit those in the East Texas medical field.
“I have been here for six years and we have never needed PPE to this degree before,” said
Kelli Morris, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
Morris works as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Angelina Pediatrics and when the pandemic hit, their staff quickly had to brainstorm how they were going to get more PPE.
“Dr. Fidone said, ‘Is there anybody, anybody that can sew?” Morris said.
Morris’ brother has designed costumes on Broadway and is now an instructor at Sam Houston State University. With permission from the College of Arts and Media, Barry Doss said he’s been able to make PPE.
“My sister told me they needed 500, I was like, well slow down because that’s a big order,” Doss said. “Then she told me that she alone could see up to 30 patients a day, on average.”
Doss said he is still working on the first one hundred gowns and is learning what does and doesn’t work.
“I work in the evenings, and I work on weekends on this when I can. And then my sister and I drive and meet one another, and I pass the gowns off to her, and then she hands me the empty basket and gives me notes,” Doss said.
Morris said that the cloth gowns are more comfortable and professional looking than the plastic ones that they were using. The new ones eliminate waste and save the clinic thousands of dollars.
“If we went through plastic gowns daily, we would be spending 60 to 70 thousand dollars per year, just throwing away gowns,” Morris said. “And right now we will be spending much less than that, we’re going to save somewhere close to 150 thousand dollars if we’re dealing with COVID for two years.”
Morris said they see thousands of kids in Lufkin and without her brother’s work it would be more difficult to take care of them.
“I can’t make PPE for the state of Texas, but you know, I can for my community and for my sister,” Doss said. “And I’m happy to know that I’m helping her and our community.”
Doss hopes to complete the first 100 or so within the next day or two then continue making more and sending them to Lufkin for the healthcare workers.