This is a Hospital Gown?

| By Samantha Healy |

There is a young lady who is making the world better for us. Here is her story:

Gown1Hi. My name is Samantha Healy. I am 13 and in 8th Grade. People have told me that I am smart, kind, clever, and funny; they also seem to like my imagination. My teachers always loved my projects and I always got A’s on them.

I enjoy Chemistry, Archaeology, and Hiking. I love Reading, the Ocean, and Animals - especially Dogs, Cats, and Horses. I like Rocks, Fossils, and Shells. Some people who I admire and in ways are my heroes are Sacagawea, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, and the character of Sydney Cook in the Walker Texas Ranger TV series.

Haw Creek Elementary School was by far my favorite when we were choosing my first school. All of my teachers were great and helpful. My favorite parts of school were the Book Fairs with the Scholastic catalogues and order sheets, Career Day, Nature Walks and the interactive science classes. My dad did a lot of presentations for my classes and my mom was active in the PTA.

Special Projects were important to me: In fourth grade for North Carolina studies I made a scale model of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with a working light and made a book about it. I also had a project on the Eastern Cottonmouth so I made a model out of clay and borrowed a stuffed Cottonmouth from a taxidermist and brought it into class in a diorama of its natural environment. The looks on people’s faces made me worry their jaws would fall off… but in a good way.

To inspire creativity, Haw Creek held optional contests for my last three years there: You had to use recyclable and reusable materials to make something. In Third Grade it was called the “LitterBug” contest because you had to make an insect out of recyclables. The judging committee picked one winner from each grade. I made a dragonfly and I was the winner for my grade. In Fourth Grade you had to make a “robot.” I made a life-size robot butler: my “Botler” and I won again. I didn’t enter the 3rd year because ironically the “Think Outside the Box” theme just didn’t seem interesting.

I live with Dad and visit my Mom and I am homeschooled. I have been homeschooled since 6th Grade and when I was tested at the end of 6th Grade most of my raw scores were around 18th Grade or higher. I’m in Eighth Grade and will be starting high school this fall. For most of my current curriculum I am doing a very special project (involving math and public speaking, my “weakest” subjects).

My Dad thought I’d get more out of my homeschooling if I did a special curriculum project that would help people as well as help myself. It started out small - but it grew…

Samantha Healy

Samantha Healy

Here’s my project; I hope you like it…

My project is a campaign to get special hospital gowns that are real clothes made and donated to wounded Veterans, Firefighters, Police, etc., and available to You, too.

Here is how it started:

I went to the doctor a couple of years ago for my annual checkup and I had to wear a sheet of paper for my exam which was really embarrassing despite the fact that the exam was very private and my doctor is a very kind and understanding lady.

Have YOU ever had to wear one?

In Search of a Better Gown…

Then last year I remembered a gown my dad had invented a few years earlier and I asked my doctor if I could wear it for my next checkup. She said yes and it made going to the doctor much more pleasant. What makes it special is that it gives you complete modesty, superior medical access and provides the draping - all while looking like clothing you can wear in public and not be embarrassed.

We have some older friends who are veterans who were injured in wars and have to go the VA Hospital pretty regularly. One time one of them complained about what patients there had to wear. Then I remembered when we visited a friend in the hospital when I was younger and saw what he was wearing and my dad had started sketching a design for a gown that makes hospital experiences nicer. Recently I did some research on common hospital gowns and saw some of the things that people have to wear in hospitals.

Every time I watch a movie involving war or veterans I want to give something back to them. One of my favorites is a movie called Max and it is about a Marine German Shepard. Knowing that most movies like that are made pretty and proper for the camera, I can’t even begin to imagine what it really is like in war. Considering that soldiers basically signed a blank check with “My Life” as the amount and that check was cashed many times, I don’t think it shows much gratitude making them walk around hospitals in the things they call gowns after they were injured fighting for us.

Is it a Good Fit?

  • Dignity with No “Southern Exposure”
  • Warm but very Cool
  • Full Modesty. Superior Medical Access and Integral Draping in Real Clothing

It took a while to come up with a gown design that works and that was mainly done by my dad and a team of doctors, PAs, nurses, and real people but, with the help of Costume Designer and Maker Ida Bostian, I added and changed several important details that made the coverage perfect and made it more attractive. One of the advantages is that this gown can be made in any size, style, and fabric. For example: If someone is always cold they can get one in microfleece. And they can be styled to look like a coat, jacket, or dress that is so nice and attractive that it can be worn in public.

Wear it Anywhere

Do you like wearing the current hospital gowns? In truth, a rare few people don’t care, about 20% of the patients have no choice, and the rest hate them. More and more, it is now being accepted that patient morale is an essential part of the healing process.

Gown3Hundreds of attempts but … it took a kid!

I officially started this project in 2015, at the start of 8th grade as my homeschool project but it is growing into something much greater than just that: We plan on setting up various crowdfunding campaigns, including a fundraising email, to get the gowns manufactured so we can give people the gowns as soon as someone decides to donate one.

We …

I’m not in this alone but have a big team of Mentors and Supporters: As always, my Dad has my back. He, with Tom Muncy (me doing this was his flash of genius); Blaine Greenfield and Jeremy Lerner (and previously Nick Jordan and Amy Townsend, too) of SCORE, does the “heavy lifting” with technical help from CD Daniels, while Rusty (MD) helped formalize concepts and a lot of the patent application. Linda Hemstreet, Paula Arriaga; Bill, Jerry & Bill from Mission Hospital; Cathy Tanner, MD and others gave us valuable medical input. Early on, Libby Flowers, RN, and Melanie started me sewing, writing and starting the critical design improvements. Ida is a great designer and teacher and helped me make all these samples. Dominique and Sandra are great supporters. Deborah Squier adds style, writing skills and so much more. Scott Dean, Grace Lehto and Juliet Bright modeled, and her mom, Lori was our first contributor.

Most of all, I’ve learned that, God willing, I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Would you like to be a part of this?

Looking Ahead

We’re starting in Asheville, NC and are going to branch out across the country, maybe even the world. We want to try to keep this project local, especially since many families of soldiers and veterans are struggling to make do with their salaries, and this would mean great job opportunities.

So …

Someone once sent me a picture with a quote: “They gave their all and this is all they get.” The picture showed a man having to hold the back of a hospital gown closed. My reaction, with the idea of doing this project was: “They gave their all and now they’re going to get something better that shows some gratitude.”

…That way people won’t have to walk around in hospitals wearing those… things.

“I enjoy helping people. I love spending time with my friends and family. I am looking forward to the rest of this year and the future which I’m sure will be very fun and productive.”

Thank you … Sam

To learn more contact Sam’s dad, Tom Healy at [email protected]

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