St. Scholastica PA student sewing masks for future colleagues

Baihly Warfield
Updated: April 01, 2020 11:10 PM

Amy Lyttle would rather be at the hospital, working as a physician assistant right now. But she hasn't graduated St. Scholastica's PA program yet, and she was called off her rotations on March 16.


Now, Lyttle is spending some of her time sewing masks for her future colleagues. 

"I'm sitting here at home, and I felt like I could be doing more," she said. 

Sewing was already a hobby, and her sister in New York told her about people making masks for healthcare workers. 

She found a pattern online that Blue Cross Blue Shield developed with Allina Health and the Centers for Disease Control. They don't replace the much-needed N95 masks, but they will help some hospital and clinic workers. 

"You can wash them," Lyttle said. "So it's almost like scrubs how once they've become soiled or day's end, you're not going to wear them anymore, you put them in the laundry and hospitals will wash them." 

She estimates she's sewn about 100 so far. 

"It's something so small and yet, that's maybe 100 people that you're helping," she said. 

Her masks have been donated to United Hospital in the Twin Cities, where she was doing some of her rotations, and Essentia Health in Duluth. 

While she can't be there working on the frontlines right now, it's a comfort to provide for the providers. 

"We all want to help, that's just the nature of why we got into healthcare," Lyttle said. "It's helped me, especially because I want to be out there so bad and yet I know I can't. I haven't graduated yet." 

She said her classmates that can't sew have found other ways to help, like picking up groceries for healthcare workers. And she says there is one thing anyone can do.

"Say thank you," she said. "That is really a huge thing." 

During Wednesday afternoon's update from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the state's emergency management director, Joe Kelly, suggested people sewing masks should donate them locally. He also recommended looking at donating them not just to hospitals and clinics but also jails, correctional facilities and transportation services. 


Baihly Warfield

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