So when Sawiris’ catheters and APLs started to come their way while playing, Kezia tested her sewing hobby. She created a dress that keeps Sawaz’s lines in place, prevents her tussle and allows her to play.
Thanks to the input of the doctors and nurses overseeing Sawiris’ treatment, Kezia quickly perfected a garment that became the talk of the hospital. The garment effectively reduced the risk of line injury and infection, while allowing patients freedom and comfort.
“It made a big difference in our lives as parents,” said Kezia. “It was a big part of our healing journey.”
Although Sawiris lost her battle with cancer months later, on the good days at least she was able to play normally.
Kezia is a cancer survivor twice, and Kezia’s experience has given her being both patient and based on her compassion for medical treatment struggles. With the success of the dress she made for her daughter, Kezia began to think about how she could expand her desire to help with other products.
For more than 10 years since the company was founded, Kezia medical clothing has been used in hospitals nationwide, with partnerships in places such as Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and CS Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan Medical School.
CareAline’s newest clothing is a product of numerous quarantines. When Hodgkin’s lymphoma relapsed in Kesia, she underwent a stem cell transplant, which forced her into isolation for 100 days to protect her weak immune system. After only three days of that isolation, the Covid-19 pandemic began and another lockdown began.
“I was just getting ready to be ready to get out of isolation and I could see the light at the end of that tunnel, and then everyone had to close as well,” she said.
Despite the emotional exhaustion of fighting cancer and the pandemic, Kezia quickly asked how she could use her company to help keep frontline workers safe.
Because the Massachusetts-based manufacturer CareAline was considered a business core, it was allowed to stay open. Wanting to take advantage of this opportunity to help, Kezia spent months meeting with PPE experts and talking to doctors about the changes they want to their medical clothing.
“They saved my life many times, and they helped treat our daughter, so these are the people we communicate with, and we feel grateful for them. We felt we really wanted to help them in return,” she said.
From her meetings, Kezia found that while there was a massive movement to help provide masks, the barrier gowns were quickly exhausted. Although she could use her company to make the standard disposable garment, she decided to find solutions to the problems that the doctors had mentioned.
CareAline dresses sought to address small issues that could add up to big differences in safety: Kezia added thumbhole cuffs so wrists could be covered, gave gowns a higher neck and added an interlocking velcro strap to the back, allowing them to be easily and safely removed.
“The changes seem straightforward and simple, but unless you talk through them with the doctors who deal with this every day, you may not realize that these simple changes can have a major impact on their safety.”
Kezia said she sees these changes as a way to deliver medicinal, personal, and environmental benefits.
“The medical industry produces a lot of waste because a lot of it is used once in order to be sterile. If there is a way we can find it that allows something to be reused, why not do it that way?”
Despite the exhaustion of undergoing multiple cancer treatments, Kezia says it is backed by testimony from patients who say it has helped them feel their lives are a little more normal and safer.
“For me, while I was out of cancer treatment for 10 years, I learned that I had to make my treatment a part of my life and not design my life around my treatment. When we hear comments that people were able to go back to school, go to work or embrace their grandchildren, These are the stories that make me really feel like we’re moving the needle. ”