TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Nurses at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital will celebrate national Nurses’ Week with the dedication of Darla’s Duds, a collection of donated clothing for patients in need.
The clothing closet is named in memory of Darla Ordway, RN, who lost her life in a tragic accident earlier this year.
Staff at St. Mary’s Hospital discussed creating a clothes closet for patients last Dec. and Ordway championed the idea. Her accident occurred soon after, and fellow nurses honored her memory by naming the closet Darla’s Duds.
“We had announced in huddle in Dec. we were bringing the clothes closet back for our patients. We asked staff for donations. Darla talked to me about it, saying what a great idea, and that she definitely wanted to donate. She mentioned she would bring some stuff in to help us,” said Jeanne Jones, a clinical educator at St. Mary’s Hospital.
“Darla’s accident occurred shortly after our conversation and we wanted to think of a way to honor her. Since we were working on the clothing closet, we thought we could name our closet after Darla, so, Darla’s Duds became a reality!” said Jones.
Ordway was manager of the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital and a past president of the Arizona Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses.
“Darla was a friend to everyone she met and no one ever left a stranger. Her death was a tragic loss to this organization and to all those who knew her. We had spoken to her about a Carondelet clothes closet and she wanted to be the first to donate some of her clothing,” said Jeanette Tellez-Hopkins, manager of the St. Mary’s Dialysis program.
“As it turned out, all of her clothing as well as some of her family’s was donated to the Carondelet clothes closet we renamed Darla’s Duds,” explained Tellez-Hopkins. “This is a clothes closet for patients as well as associates who work at St. Mary’s Hospital. We feel her gift of generosity fills the room with warmth and will hopefully better serve someone in need.”
The outpouring of support and donations for Darla’s Duds comes as no surprise to hospital officials.
“Nurses’ Week and Hospital Week are celebrated in May, and no matter what specialty, our associates are incredible individuals who are passionate about caring for others,” said St. Mary’s Chief Operating Officer Ryan Harper.