SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – An inspiring story about local nurses who are doing something special for families on their worst day.
They’re coming together to do a tender kindness that’s making a big difference.
While working in the operating room, nurses Asia McMullin and Misse Betts saw a need.
So they did what nurses do and they took it upon themselves to fulfill it.
“We are definitely in need of more jammies. The world is not a perfect place and so sad things happen,” said Betts, R.N., Primary Children’s Hospital.
They wanted to give a gift to kids who have given everything: their lives, and in most cases, their organs, so others can live.
“There’s been a tragedy outside of the OR and the parents have consented to donate organs and give a gift to another person.”
The staff keeps a box of donated pajamas to dress them in but they were running low.
“We, the OR staff, find it important to clean and dress our patients in something other than a hospital gown,” said Betts, who took it to social media asking for people to donate pajamas.
“Within minutes, I had cash donations and I was like, ‘That’s great, and if it had ended there, I would’ve felt successful.”
But it didn’t end there.
They got enough pajamas to fill a cart, a trunk, with boxes of jammies to spare.
A small act of kindness with a big impact. One that McMullin knows about firsthand.
“I had actually just returned from maternity leave. I was at Primary Children’s in the operating room and I got a phone call,” she said. A call no mother should receive. Her 3-month-old baby, Nixon, passed away while with a caregiver.
“He had wiggled off of the pillow and was trapped facedown between the mattress and the pillow. The drive from Primary Children’s to the hospital in Roy was- I don’t remember it,” McMullin said.
“I just wanted to hold him so that I can feel the bend of his knees, to feel his toes inside his jammies, those are the things you want to feel in those last moments,” McMullin said.
When hospital staff handed Nixon to her, he was just in a diaper.
“I would have loved to have gotten my child back in pajamas so that when I was holding him and spending my last few moments with him, he would have been clothed,” she said.
McMullin and her coworkers are making sure that doesn’t happen to another parent.
Betts said, “As of yesterday, I have 156 pair of new pajamas. We will have enough pajamas to last my entire career.” Healing wounds on both sides. The parents: “Nixon is very alive in our life and our family. I think he continues living through us,” McMullin said. And the nurses who care for them.