Nurse remembered by sisters who make pillows out of her old scru - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Nurse remembered by sisters who make pillows out of her old scrubs

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Just over a year ago, a nurse at St. Mary's with a passion for helping children died of ovarian cancer.

Now her sisters are picking up where she left off and making sure she isn't forgotten.

Connie Hansert loved being a nurse.

Her family says that was the thing she was most passionate about in life.

Now, even though she's gone, her collection of scrubs, her sisters, and a pet collie are keeping smiles on kids faces.

There's a special bond sisters share, especially when they're all grown up.

But time took a different meaning for Marianne Hunter and Judy Lockhart when their oldest sister Connie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Together, the three women fought a disease that wouldn't go away, so they talked and laughed and mostly they loved.

"I was incredible," says Hunter. "Even though it was so sad and she couldn't get up and she couldn't do anything, we just focused on her, it was just all about her."

Eight months later, Connie passed away.

But her memory, like her many colorful scrub tops, lives on.

Instead of throwing them out or donating them, Lockhart's transforming the cartoons and bright patterns into pillows.

"When I take the pockets off, I just see her," says Lockhart. "I see her taking care of the kids and having all the things in her pockets and pulling them out and everything."

So these pillows have pockets that hold a very special message.

"Our sister's in Heaven now," says Hunter. "Even though we miss her very much, we thought of a way to keep her loving and healing spirit alive."

Armed with bags full of love, Hunter and Lockhart, along with their mother are doing that with the help of a collie named Palyn.

She's Hunter's therapy dog.

Good at comforting sick children in the same halls Connie once walked.

"It's very bittersweet," says Hunter. "It's been a very healing process for all of us. It's wonderful to go and see her co-workers, so I feel like in some small way we're carrying on her legacy."

"When she'd get really tickled, she'd hit her kneed and she'd laugh and we just see her doing that right now and that helps us have a good feeling and not be sad," says Lockhart.

After the petting, and the tricks, each visit ends with a handmade pillow being passed on.

A small, but powerful remind of the bond between the sisters and the love nurse Connie shared with so many.

"I know that we're not helping someone to heal physically, but you know if we can make their spirit happy and their soul a little happier, then I feel like we've done what we were supposed to do," says Hunter.

Connie's sisters don't plan on stopping with the pillows.

They're talking about setting up a scholarship fund in Connie's name to provide financial help to students who are going into nursing.

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