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Couple donates creations to help children at UT Health Tyler

From Left: Lecia Bowman, chief nursing officer; Robin Davis, clinical/operational manager for pediatrics; Janet Kats; Vicki Briggs, CEO; and Greg Kats display some of the handmade creations that were donated to the hospital Wednesday.

When Greg and Janet Kats moved to Tyler to retire a year ago, the couple turned to hobbies to stay busy, Greg using his 3D printer to create different objects and Janet crocheting blankets and stuffed animals.

Greg, retired from a career in IT, makes miniature trains, dinosaurs and fidget toys with his 3D printer and Janet, retired from an accounting career, likes to craft with her hands.

“It keeps us busy and gives us a purpose of doing something,” Janet said. “These are things we like to do and keeps us busy, and it also helps the kids.”

With their newfound free time in retirement, and a growing supply of their creations, the Katses decided they wanted to help children with their wares. On Wednesday, Greg and Janet donated their creations to UT Health Tyler to be shared with pediatric patients at the hospital.

Lecia Bowman, chief nursing officer at UT Health Tyler, said hospitals can be scary for children. A soft blanket or, in the case of older children, a plastic fidget toy, can help provide comfort to them, she said.

“We are so grateful for this heartfelt donation,” Bowman said. “These small objects can have a huge impact for a child who is in an unfamiliar situation at the hospital.”

UT Health Tyler CEO Vicki Briggs said the donations will help caregivers provide comfort while providing care to kids.  

“Our job is to serve and give back to the community, so when I see others in the community giving back to us in a way that helps our caregivers, it means the world to me,” Briggs said.