Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sara Delivers In Style with Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gowns

Sara and I have been friends since the very first day of nursing school when we were immediately drawn to one another over identical outfits - corduroy overalls and Doc Martens. Not sure what we were thinking, but maybe we were in style in 1995? We both were alone in a new city and together we made San Francisco home. 

We laughed and definitely cried a few tears during our 4 years together at the University of San Francisco. We are convinced we would not have survived anatomy, physiology, micro, organic chem {that was a close one}, and countless clinical hours in the hospital without each other. We still crack up at our 19 year old selves so shyly knocking on our first patients door at clinical...{knock knock}..."Mr. Smith.....oh, Mr. Smith.... {knock knock} are you awake? can we come in?" Poor Mr. Smith... I can't imagine how long it took for us both to fumble through his vital signs. 

Sara will forever be my soul sister. Now that she lives over 2,500 miles away on Kauai, Hawaii and I miss her every single day. When my first son George was born, Sara was living in LA and working as a neonatal ICU nurse. The first real contraction I felt, I called her...my on call RN. I never thought she would make it, but a security escort through LAX and the last flight of the night later...she was there for me. Shortly after George's birth, Sara moved to Hawaii and we don't get to see each other nearly enough. 

Sara is now the mother of three beautiful boys. I was so sad to not be able to hop on a quick flight and be there for her when her turn came around. It was really special to have Sara sporting Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns for the birth of her sons Keoni and Duke. In a strange way, I felt as if I was a small part of her big day. We are honored that she chose to wear the Anita and Susan gowns. She labored and delivered in our Anita designer hospital gown. She then recovered in our Susan designer hospital gown. 

"I absolutely LOVED wearing my Susan and Anita gowns when my second son was born. It's typically not a time when you feel like you're looking your best, but the gowns made all the difference. They were comfortable AND cute. Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns are a must for every expectant mother's hospital bag or anyone headed to the hospital. I also really loved the stories behind the gown's name and they definitely touched my heart when I read them. It made wearing my gowns all the more special. Thank you A&I!"

Here is a really great picture of how much coverage you have in an Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown! Because we are nurses, we know that your gown has tie on the side. No need to fuss with ties or snaps that you can't reach that leave exposing gaps. We always hear from customers that they felt covered and dignified in our hospital gowns. You don't even need a robe or the typical second hospital gown for you backside!

*The zebra print "Susan" gown is no longer available. We have replaced it with our NEW SUSAN! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Daughter Donates Life Saving Kidney to Her Father

We are so happy to share with you the story of Stephanie and her father Dino. We believe that this may be our first story in which an Annie and Isabel gown was worn by an organ donor and a recipient. We love to share incredible stories like this, especially when dignity, comfort, and style were not spared in a hospital!  

In 2014, when Stephanie learned of her father Dino's worsening kidney failure and need for a transplant, she knew that she would be tested as a potential donor. After suffering from chronic back pain for many years, and taking high doses of Ibuprofen, Dino learned that his kidneys were shutting down. His only options moving forward were dependence on dialysis or a kidney transplant. The average person waits seven years for a deceased kidney donor and Dino would surely face dialysis before a kidney would become available. That is when Stephanie stepped in to see if she would be a match for the father that she loves so much. Like father, like daughter ~ she was a perfect match!

"There wasn't a doubt in my mind that if I was a match I would donate to my dad. He and my mom have done everything to provide for me, my sisters, and our children (their grandchildren). This was the least I could do for him and honestly, I want him around and healthy for my children, niece and nephews. How often do you get the chance to give the gift of life to someone that did the same for you? I was honored to be there for my dad like he has always been there for me. "

We asked Stephanie what surgery was like to be a living donor and give an organ to someone else. She said: 

"I had never had surgery before so I really didn't know what to expect. I was full of nerves and anticipation right before, but I knew I was in good hands with the doctors, nurses, and staff at UCSF hospital. The actual surgery was a bit surreal. They get you ready and wheel you into the operating room and before you know it you are being wheeled out and surgery is done. Overall, the recovery has been fine. Right after surgery the biggest thing they want you to do is get up and start walking. I walked around the floor multiple times a day with my dad in our Annie & Isabel hospital gowns."

It has been three months since the transplant and we asked how she and her dad are feeling today.  

"For me, it took me about six weeks to feel back to normal. My dad now has his energy back and we have been amazed at how my kidney has made him feel so much better. From the moment he was wheeled out of surgery, we knew the kidney was working. His cheeks had color and he looked better right away. He is currently on anti-rejection medications so his body continues to accept my kidney. He is adjusting to their side effects, but overall he is doing great! We are both so lucky everything went so well."

Lastly, we had to ask if Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns made a difference during their hospital stay.  

"After surgery, my body didn't feel like my own. Having items like my favorite face wash and lotion, cute slippers and my A& I gowns helped me just feel better. I actually used the A&I gowns that I had worn for the deliveries of two of my children, so it was great to wear them again and it brought back nice memories. What was so cool was that my dad got to wear one of the first A&I men's gowns too! He loved his camouflage hospital gown. It was fun for us during recovery to get together and walk around the floor in our A&I gowns. Everyone would compliment us and we definitely made an impression in our designer gowns.

 I truly believe that when you psychologically feel better it helps you to physically feel better."

We are truly honored to share this beautiful story of Stephanie and Dino. If you would like to share your experience wearing Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns please email us at wecare@annieandisabel.com. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Story of Jasen and Lisa ~ Part 1 :: Open Heart Surgery

This testimonial is extremely overdue, but we are thrilled to share one of our very first men's hospital gown testimonials. Our men's gown was born in 2012 (yikes)....but, it took us a few years to actually launch our entire line. Back then, we had heard of Jasen's upcoming surgery at Stanford and asked his wife Lisa if they would be up for giving our "David" men's hospital gown a real life whirl in the hospital. We are happy to report that Jasen had succesful heart surgery and the gown was a hit! 

Below is what Lisa had to say about Jasen's experience in Annie & Isabel, 

"I'm happy to report we are back home and Jasen's surgery was a great success! He is healing and on the road to recovery. Thank you so much for the gown. It was AMAZING and everyone on the floor asked about it! He was quite the talk of the floor with the Annie & Isabel gown and I was sure to talk up the brand every time. I kept the hang tag in the room and showed everyone who asked! PR is my profession, you know....LOL. The nurses were especially impressed with the pockets and the telemetry pocket on the front. 

One of the things Jasen loved most about the gown was the fabric. Stanford's issued gowns are a polyester blend and are quite soft - almost flannel feeling - but they do not breathe and can be very hot. Also, the snap closure at the shoulders is wonderful in your gown. Before Jasen was able to change into the Annie & Isabel gown, the standard issue gown kept falling off his shoulder (it has a tie at the shoulder) and just looked awful. I went to great lengths during his stay to make sure Jasen didn't "look" like an ill patient, making sure he was bathed, smelling good and clean and the gown was not helping. It was hanging off his shoulder a lot since they were adjusting the IV's etc. We had him change into your gown right after he left the ICU and he immediately commented on how good it felt. It was comfortable and felt so nice against his skin. 

Thank you doesn't seem like enough...I've attached a photo of Jasen in the gown. In the photo he is almost "unplugged" from his numerous IV's and is sitting in a chair. The gown was plenty long to cover him."


What is most incredible is that Jasen and Lisa will soon be welcoming their first child...you guessed it....in Annie & Isabel! Stay tuned for Part 2 of their story! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2 Year Old Receiving Life Saving Kidney Transplant from Mother Today

We need all your good thoughts and prayers sent to a family who is desperately trying to save the life of their sweet 2 year old daughter, Eloise.

At the age of six months, Eloise was diagnosed with a kidney disease which eventually permanently damages the kidneys. She has already had her kidneys removed and today, she is receiving a kidney transplant from her mother. Her mother was the perfect match to be her daughter's donor....how amazing is that?

Eloise with Mom
Eloise is already a miracle baby. Her parents never thought they would be able to have children as Eloise's father, Nick, had testicular cancer when he was in his twenties.  They defied the odds and became pregnant naturally and welcomed Eloise into the world in December of 2012. We are pretty sure they are all going to beat the odds again with this transplant today!

Eloise Loves Her Daddy

How did Annie & Isabel come into the picture? Eloise is being taken care of at UC Davis Medical Center. The sweet nurses who have taken care of Eloise went in together and purchased Eloise's mother, Kristin, an Annie & Isabel hospital gown for the big day today. Watch this emotional video as they gift Kristin the "Evelyn" hospital gown:

So....let's all come together and send this family the best wishes for a successful transplant and speedy recovery. Both Kristen and Eloise are going to need good thoughts sent their way.

We would love if you do the following:

1. Go to our Facebook post and "LIKE" it. This will help spread their story but more importantly will help them feel surrounded in love. As we always say, each "Like" is like a big hug!

2. Please COMMENT on our Facebook post and leave messages to help them remain strong through this process as they recover in the hospital.

THANK YOU for always helping to bring cheer to our Annie & Isabel warriors. You are the best!!

Lastly, we would also like to mention the importance of becoming an organ donor and hope you might consider registering to be an organ donor. We encourage you to visit Donate Life's website and educate yourself about organ donation. More than 123,000 men, women and children are waiting for organ donations. You can register on the site and you can limit your gift of any organ or tissue you do not want to donate and can exclude use for research. Take the decision and stress away from your family, and make your wishes be known. Become an organ donor today. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Inspiring Teenager Smiles Through Her Challenges ~ The Story of Ellie

In December of this last year we received an email from Erin, who is the mother of a 17 year old daughter named Ellie. Ellie was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor when she was younger and has had many complications. In the last year alone, she has endured 13 brain surgeries. She also had surgery to her back due to a mass which left her with a paralyzed leg. She has spent far too many days in the hospital. Throughout all of this, her mother explained that Ellie has always kept a positive attitude and can mostly be found with a big, beautiful smile on her face.

Ellie with her mother

The reason Erin was writing to us was because Ellie had found our website and had been saving up to purchase one of our hospital gowns. Erin hoped that we might make her a part of our "Feel Better Campaign" as she was not yet able to purchase one of our hospital gowns, and she knew this would brighten her daughter's time in the hospital. At the time of her email to us, Ellie was hospitalized and about to undergo more surgery.

We couldn't think of a better person to receive one of our "Feel Better" hospital gowns to, so it was an easy decision for us. We sent her our "Annie" designer hospital gown and a few days later we received another email from Ellie's mother that made us both cry. The email contained step by step pictures of Ellie opening the hospital gown that we sent to her. Looking at the pictures made us feel like we were right there with her as she was opening up our gift...... and it was powerful! You can see for yourself in this short Flipagram video:

We have always known our hospital gowns can make a big difference in the life of anyone that has to spend time in the hospital and Ellie confirmed this, once again, for us. She is yet another reminder of why we started this business and why we continue to move forward with Annie & Isabel.

Ellie in her "Annie" hospital gown

After Ellie received her "Annie" hospital gown she wrote us a very nice thank you note and we have included some of that here so you can see what a sweet, thoughtful person she is:

"Most teenagers are worried about how perfect their hair and make-up look, or which party they will attend over the weekend. For me, it's a little different. I just want my hair to grow back completely so I can do different things to it. Forget weekend parties, I just pray to stay out of the hospital for the weekend. You see, in the last year or so I've had over 13 brain surgeries, 55+ spinal taps, at least 15 hospital admissions, countless nights in the PICU, and several ER visits & ambulance rides. I've been diagnosed with multiple serious chronic illnesses throughout the last few years. As a teenager it's been hard spending more time in the hospital then at home. Nurses and doctors are more of my friends than people my own age. But it's also taught me so much. I can't wait for the day when I'm able to attend college and follow my dream of becoming a pediatric oncology nurse. My passion is helping people and I love volunteering in any way possible when my health allows me. I frequently have surgeries or am in the hospital for extended stays. I try personalizing my room and bed up a bit, but to have a gown of my own just means so much! Anna & Selena, thank you SO, SO much for choosing me as your feel better campaign recipient. I truly an so honored, and grateful to be part of something so amazing. I can't thank you enough for the smiles and the happy tears you have brought to me at such a hard time. You are both wonderful people with amazing personalities and I just really can't put into words how much all of this means to me!!! Thank you, truly thank you!! ~ Ellie" 

We gave Ellie a small gift, but the truth is, she has given us a much greater gift. She has shown us how to stay positive in the face of so many obstacles, to live life to the fullest, and to always dream big. We are the ones honored to have Ellie as a "Feel Better Campaign" recipient and we can't thank Ellie and her mother enough for reaching out to us. Ellie's fighting spirit, huge heart, and positive attitude have touched us deeply.

Now we need YOUR help! Ellie has recently been re-admitted to the hospital and could use some good thoughts and prayers.

We would love if you could write some words of encouragement on our Facebook post as Ellie follows along. Ellie is always one to smile, even when she is feeling down, but let's help make that smile much bigger by letting her know there are people thinking about her! It just takes two easy steps:

1. "LIKE" our Facebook post because we feel like each LIKE is the same as giving sweet Ellie a nice big hug!

2. COMMENT on our Facebook post so she can read each message and feel the love and support surrounding her.

You all have always pulled through for our Annie & Isabel warriors so I can't wait to see us all do it again and imagine Ellie smiling with each message! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts (and Ellie's too).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#LoveForLawson :: We Need Your Help {Our latest Feel Better Campaign Recipient}

Annie & Isabel is so much more than a designer hospital gown company. Our hospital gowns are often purchased as special gifts for people fighting tough diagnoses or dealing with unfortunate circumstances and, because of this, we have inevitably met some very special and brave people along the way. We feel truly honored that people take the time to read our posts and think of our company when they are trying to figure out what to do for someone in need. If you are reading this post, chances are you have been here before and we thank you. This is a place where we often share stories of warriors who have worn or are wearing our gowns and call for an outpouring of thoughts and prayers. Time and time again, you have all truly shown us the good in this world with your support for a stranger in need. The thoughtfulness is beyond measure and that, our dear friends, is why Annie & Isabel has been such a special thing that we hold close to our hearts. We are here once again, in a time of need, to ask for your help. 

This is Meghan. She is a mother, a wife to Ryan, a photographer, and now an Annie & Isabel warrior.  Meghan is actually you. She is the one who loyally reads our posts and answers our calls for help. She shares our posts on Facebook and sends healing thoughts to warriors who have come before her. Meghan is a kind and caring woman and we are so excited to say she is about to welcome her fourth son, Lawson!  This unborn child, however, needs a swarm of good thoughts and prayers for the fight he will have when he is born and that is where we hope you will all come in.

Meghan is the mother of 3 beautiful sons, Colton 16, Dylan 8, and Gavin 7. When we saw on Instagram that she was expecting her fouth boy, we were so so so excited for her. As we both know so well, brothers are magical and a fourth boy is pretty special. We recently noticed Meghan posting about "#LoveforLawson" and were saddened to learn that baby Lawson is up against quite a battle as soon as he is born. Meghan shared with us that baby Lawson has a congenital heart defect called Hydroplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), which means Lawson has half a heart. Lawson will have his first open heart surgery within days of his birth and Meghan and her husband Ryan were told that he has a 60% chance of surviving this first sugery. He will then have another surgery around 6 months, a surgery as a toddler, and ultimately will need a heart transplant. 

Meghan, Scott, Colton, Dylan, and Gavin, are anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby Lawson as we write this. We have chosen Meghan as our latest Feel Better Campaign recipient and hope Meghan will feel comfortable, loved, and beautiful when she delivers baby Lawson. Here is a picture of Meghan just minutes ago in her Isabel designer hospital gown! Isn't she gorgeous?!

We need your help and we know you all will help because you have done it before! We would please ask you to do the following so that we can surround this family in love and prayers for Lawson to have a safe delivery and surgery in his first week of life:
  • LIKE our Facebook post to help Meghan, Ryan and her boys feel our love.
  • SHARE our Facebook post and as part of your comment put #LoveForLawson so others can help surround them in love and spread their story.
  • POST A COMMENT on our Facebook post to give Meghan and her family words of encouragement and strength as they prepare for an exciting time of welcoming a new son to their family, yet also a very scary and unpredictable time as to the fate of their son's health.

Meghan, her husband Ryan, who is a police sargent, and 3 sons live in Temecula, California. She is a stay at home mother and has her own photography business, Memories by Meghan Photography.    

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tatsiana Welcomes Baby Girl in Her Annie & Isabel Hospital Gown

We received this beautiful testimonial from Tatsiana, who just welcomed a beautiful baby girl! How adorable is her sweet face? She is wearing our "Annie" Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown enjoying those first newborn snuggles.

I want to thank you for making my hospital stay brighter with one of your beautiful gowns! I was so lucky and excited to receive it as a gift and wear it after delivering my precious baby girl. Everyone who came to visit commented on how fresh and pretty I looked in the gown, as if I didn't just go through labor to deliver an almost 10 pound baby. Not to mention it was a huge hit with the nurses and other hospital staff! Your gown made me feel not only beautiful, but most importantly very comfortable, whether I was breastfeeding or walking the halls. It also made for some beautiful first pictures with my baby! 

I thank you and wish you all the best in your business!