MADE IN S.A.: Doctor enlists family to make handmade patient gowns

Doctor makes patients' gowns by hand

SAN ANTONIO -- A doctor’s love for his patients inspires him to make handmade gowns.

He’s even made it into a family affair.

Going to the doctor could require you to get out of your comfort zone and into something like a paper gown.

However, Dr. Bryan Cox with Seven Oaks Women’s Center wanted to change that for his patients.

“I started my private practice in San Antonio in 1987. When I first came here, one of the doctors had cloth gowns that he had made. I thought that was a really nice personalized touch,” Cox said.

Cox wanted to do the same, but make some changes in the design to help women feel more comfortable.

“My mother and grandmother have been patients, too. They came up with some ideas,” Cox said.

However, with no sewing experience, he enlisted the help of his grandmother, Trudy Klunkert, and mother, Lee Cox.

“We made a slit up front and put a little Velcro on it so that when a woman wore a gown she could [easily remove it]. It was still very good for me to examine, and yet she had a nice gown,” Cox said.

The two women choose the fabrics, then grandma would put them together at her sewing machine.

Mom would add the snaps and Velcro.

“I believe that I still have gowns that I’m still using now that are more than 20 years old. We are talking 'made in America.' These are granny’s gowns. These things last,” Cox said.

Some of the gowns have been retired and made into quilts.

New gowns are still being made, and it’s becoming somewhat of a family tradition.

“My grandmother passed away years later. My mother slowly took over the spot. It’s now third generational because there need to be repairs sometimes. My daughter who is now 13, Avery, she repairs my gowns,” Cox said.

These days, most doctors use cloth gowns made by a manufacturer.

Dr. Cox is still choosing to use his own cash and let mom and daughter add that personal touch.

“It’s a special touch that I’ve always done that I will always do. I think the patients appreciate it,” Cox said. 

(© 2016 KENS)


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