Every day Jill Watson attaches a simple pin to her nursing scrubs that reads, "Be Kind."
It’s a powerful link to her former friend and colleague, Sage Lowry. The 28-year-old was in the midst of a second volunteer nursing stint at Lao Friends Hospital for Children when she died in a motorcycle accident on April 3, 2018.
“I wanted something that I could wear on my scrubs that was very simple and subtle, yet powerful.”
The pin is more than a way for Jill to remember Sage, who worked for three years as a casual registered nurse on the Labour and Delivery unit at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital. It’s a means to continue Sage’s work.
The Be Kind pin is raising money for the Laos hospital where Sage volunteered. Jill has raised more than $13,000 through the sale of the $10 pins, which can be ordered by visiting KindLikeSage on Facebook. These funds will be added to the $26,000 already donated to the hospital through a GoFundMe campaign originally set up to help Sage’s immediate family. They chose to forward the money to the children’s hospital in Laos.
Sage’s mother, Edie Lowry, says the money will go toward renovations and equipment for a new neonatal space. The existing space is about the same size as most people’s bathrooms.
“The existing space holds about eight babies, but there were usually 12 to 15 babies because the need was so great,” says Edie.
And Sage’s memory will live on with one of the renovated hospital rooms bearing her name.
“She touched lives,” says Edie. “Even if she only knew you for five minutes, you would remember how you interacted with her. She was pretty special.”
Construction should be complete by Sept. 1. Edie and her husband plan to fly to Laos in October to see how the donations are making a difference.
As for Jill, the Be Kind slogan is a way to remind herself to continue to work in a way that Sage did, and she hopes the message resonates with others.
“It’s very simple to be kind. You just have to take the time to do it.”
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