Beaumont nurse collects clothes for patients in need

TRENTON, Mich. – From COVID-19 to everyday emergencies, healthcare workers are busy saving lives.

But a Downriver nurse is redefining what it means to care for her patients by going beyond the hospital bed.

“There are a lot of patients coming in and their clothes are soiled, torn or cut,” said Laura Thomson, nurse at Beaumont Hospital in Trenton.

As a nurse, Thomson has a knack for helping people when they need it most – and that doesn’t stop at medical needs.

“I once had a patient who had to walk home because she lives very close to the hospital and (she) didn’t have shoes,” said Thomson. “She said she was happy to come home with two pairs of hospital socks, and I was so upset. I was like, ‘I want to be able to give this lady a pair of shoes.’ “

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After recognizing a need, Thomson turned his frustration into a donation closet for those in the hospital who need it.

“I just went to Target and bought a shelf and bins and put them together one day,” Thomson said. “And then everyone in the unit started to come together and donate, and then the people in the hospital heard about it and started donating.”

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Thomson named the space Brody Garrett Closet in honor of her 12-year-old son, who she says also has a generous heart.

“It was my way of saying, ‘I see you and here you are. It’s your spirit and I honor you, ”said Thomson.

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While the closet hasn’t been around for long, it’s already making a difference.

“Patients are shocked that we can just give them clothes and they can take them home,” said Thomson. “They feel more comfortable and loved during the hospitalization process and the discharge process. “

The nurse says people from across the Beaumont healthcare system have reached out, interested in starting or maintaining their own wardrobes for those in need.

Anyone interested in making a donation can stop by the reception at Beaumont Trenton Hospital.

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