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Cover of Love: Quilts give Kids a "Warm Hug" Print E-mail

 Published in the Tulsa World July 30, 2009.

Cover of Love: Quilts Give Kids a "Warm Hug"  

Quilters give children comfort during difficult times to aid in healing and begin the recovery process  Quilters give children comfort during difficult times to aid in healing and begin the recovery process  

Kathy Fletcher, delivers a quilt to 6-year-old Brandon Simpson as his father, Nicholas Simpson, looks on.   Fletcher is part of the Tulsa Quilts For Kids program, which recently delivered quilts to the Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis.

After being ejected from his family's pickup in a July 3 accident, 6-year-old Brandon Simpson was only too happy to have something to hold on to on a recent Saturday at the Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis.

He was one of 102 children to receive a handmade quilt during his hospital stay as part of Downy’s Touch of Comfort, a program dedicated to delivering handmade quilts to children staying in Children's Miracle Network hospitals throughout the country. Members of Tulsa Quilts for Kids had the joy of delivering the quilts they had made to sick and injured children such as Brandon.

"It definitely upped his spirits," said his dad, Nick Simpson.

Children use the quilts to keep warm in hospitals that are often cold. Because of hygienic reasons, they can't have their favorite teddy bears, so a soft cotton quilt can become their comfort during treatment.

Sometimes the quilt helps them escape — they can turn it into a cape or a tent, said Sharon Bethel, co-leader of the group.   "It's made our hearts sing," she said. "It's amazing the reaction you get from parents as well as the children. When I give a quilt to a child, I am overwhelmed. I see a confused look in the eyes, but then I see a smile."

Brandon didn't smile right away. He has experienced great losses in recent months.
"He was pretty shy," said Kathy Bauer Fletcher, of Claremore. "I was very proud, of course, to give it to him. I know he was thrilled."

Last year, Brandon's dad, Nick Simpson, 30, was in Iraq with the National Guard when he received a heart-wrenching notice from the American Red Cross. His oldest son, 7-year-old Justin, had drowned in Skiatook Lake. Brandon was just 5.

It was an event that could crush any family.

Then on July 3, Simpson was driving his family from their Cleveland home along U.S. 412 when a young man inexplicably veered his vehicle into the side of the family's vehicle.

And the latest family tragedy began.

Brandon's mother, Soniea Simpson, also was thrown from the vehicle and seriously injured as the white Dodge megacab pickup overturned 10 times. Both were wearing their seat belts. Soniea was in a coma for a week.

Mother and son were discharged from the hospital last week.

But Soniea Simpson's injuries are so serious that it will be a year before she is able to walk on her own.

"I haven't let it get to me yet," Nick Simpson said.

He was set to go to Afghanistan to work for a private contractor building military vehicles, but he had to delay it 30 days.

"It's a balancing act. But I've got to have the income," he said. And he doesn't want to ask for the public's help.

"I've been helped out a lot, like when my son died. I'd feel guilty," Simpson said. "Money isn't really important. I'm so blessed to have my wife and my son."

As for Brandon, a simple quilt covered with bright airplanes and clouds helped put a smile back on his face.

"Being a child, he loved the attention," Simpson said. "He's smiling right now."

You Can Be A Volunteer - Tulsa Quilts for Kids offer free workshops through their “Share a Saturday” events at the Quilt Sampler, 6024 S. Sheridan Road. Reservations are required and lunch is provided. You are invited to stay an hour or all day. The group also accepts financial donations, fabric [unused 100% cotton], and sewing supplies. For more information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Sharon Bethel at 832-9012

Last Updated on Monday, 26 September 2016 10:43