Summer Germann ‘Brave Gowns’ presents young patients with more alternative than the regular hospital clothing. She promised to always donate to little children in the hospital. She made this vow after her ten-year-old brother died from pediatric cancer.
Germann makes hospital gowns into cool and amusing creations with help from graphic designers. Her creations include different designs which patients can select from. These designs make them look like baseball players, mermaids, rock stars, superheroes and much more.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Germann said she felt inspired to do something for kids that are required to be in the hospital for lengthy periods due to cancer or other diseases. She does this to honor her brother Mac. Germann was 27 when he died from pediatric cancer.
She said, “when Mac died, I promised myself that I would not take this entire lesson in life for naught and that I would come back and make a difference in children’s hospitals”. “Being a journalist major, I always thought that it would b through children’s books, but that wasn’t the case. When I saw my friend’s daughter, Maya, in the same hospital 12 years later, smiling in a dingy, old gown while being in remission, it all hit me at once.”
The gowns (which are similar to hospital attires from other companies) have some special features to make the kids’ stay in the hospital easier. Also, it offers some fun to kids in the hospital. Germann wishes to have the Brave Gowns sold to kids in hospitals around the globe. The Brave Gowns are presently available for purchase online.
“I know that the designs are fun and make the patients happy, but they are extremely soft with a bit of stretch,” she said. “They are flame-retardant, have dual IV sleeve access, chest port access, and full back coverage. A child’s body truly never has o be fully exposed for the nurse or doctor to get their PIC lines.”
She told HuffPost that giving the Brave Gowns to the kids is part she enjoys and cherishes the most of the process of the Brave Gowns even though she doesn’t get to do it every time.
Germann said, “anytime I step foot in a children’s hospital, I feel a sense of peace like I’m home.” “It must be because it was at the hospital that I got to laugh with and talk to my brother, Mac.”
Ashley Wagner’s 2-year-old son Miles received his first Brave Gown when he was 18 months old after his liver transplant. Miles was born with primary hyperoxaluria type 1 which is an uncommon disease. He is one of the kids who has gotten a Brave Gown from Germann.
Wagner told HuffPost Miles “loves” his gowns. He just had a kidney transplant recently, and he was specific about the gown he wanted before his transplant. Wagner said she “admires” Germann for what she is doing. Also, she said she had witnessed the positive effect the Brave Gowns have had on others in the hospital.
“We have spent so much time in the hospital with Miles and have seen so many children walk the halls in the drab hospital gowns,” Wagner said. “For the younger children, I think Brave Gowns are simply fun. For the older children, I think it helps give them a little piece of their identity back. They aren’t just patients.”
Germann told HuffPost she is working on running a new line of tear-away pants. This is for patients who didn’t want to wear gowns only. Also, she is working on innovative designs and Brave Gowns line for adult patients. Germann has also partnered with Starlight Children’s Foundation so people can donate and contribute to her work and help kids get the gowns.
The Brave Gowns inventor also thanked graphic designers, parents, hospital staffs and everyone that has made her project achievable and successful.
Germann said, “The amazing thing is that everyone wants to see this succeed, so they roll up their sleeves and dive in.” “The mentors I’ve gained along the way have been nothing short of miracles.”