Joy Ahearn (centre) pictured with ED/ICU nurses Chelsea and Kath.
Hamilton resident Joy Ahearn has been busy sewing hats and scrubs for frontline nursing staff at WDHS during the COVID-19 outbreak.
So far Joy has made a total of 51 caps, 17 scrub tops and 5 pairs of pants, whilst juggling the demands of full time work.
Western District Health Service (WDHS) Chief Executive, Rohan Fitzgerald says the support from the community during the COVID-19 outbreak has been phenomenal and Joy is a wonderful example of how people are using their unique talents to help out where they can.
“Joy approached us in March to see if we needed any scrubs or hats, given the global COVID-19 PPE shortages and in little over a week she had sewn over 50 hats for our nurses.
The thought and effort she has put into making sure they are the right quality, meet infection control guidelines and will handle the rigours of the hospital environment is just amazing,” he said.
Ms Ahearn has taken special care to ensure the scrubs are 100% cotton, can withstand numerous high heat sanitised washes and are comfy to wear for long periods of time. The hats even have buttons so that staff wearing elastic face masks can hook their masks onto the buttons, preventing irritation and rubbing around the ears.
Joy has generously paid for all the materials herself and donated her time to make the scrubs, and says she’s loved being involved and doing her bit.
“When the pandemic hit I could see internationally that hospitals were running out of equipment and supplies. I have nurses in my family and also work in healthcare myself, so I have a good understanding of how important it is to have the right uniform.
In the UK and across Europe, sewers had come on board to make gowns, scrubs and masks, including the Queen’s own seamstress. So I decided to put my skills to good use and get the sewing machine out.
I also hoped that I might inspire more people in the community to help and perhaps, with the simpler patterns even potentially learn a new skill or hobby while they are in isolation,” Joy said.
If you would like to assist Joy in her sewing or contribute to materials please contact the WDHS Community Liaison department on 5551 8540 or the WDHS Helping Hands program on 1800 934 131.