Donor Profile: Diane Dionne with Angel Gowns by Diane

Piece by piece, Diane Dionne disassembles elaborate gowns, carefully saving lace, beads and other intricate embellishments.

Diane then uses her sewing talents and transforms the dresses into beautiful tiny burial garments that can fit the tiniest of babies.

She calls them angel gowns.

“My daughter lost two baby girls,” she says. “It was devastating. The task of finding an outfit for Jordynn, her first baby girl who lived only a day was heartbreaking and frustrating. After experiencing this first hand I made it my mission to help many parents.”

Diane started Angel Gowns by Diane in August 2014 and to date has donated more than 1,200 garments to local hospitals – Harris Health Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson being two of them. Diane’s mission is to provide at no cost to the family, burial gowns for families who have suffered a loss.

“Losing a child is unthinkable,” says Jennifer Buck, manager, Harris Health Community Involvement. “Diane has taken a very personal family loss and turned it into something beautiful. Fueled by her passion to help other families cope with the loss of a child, she has enlisted an army of volunteers to help fulfill her mission. These gowns are hand-sewn with love and hope. Every stitch honors those tiny angel babies.”

Anyone can donate a wedding gown or dress, which Diane and more than 50 volunteers then clean, disassemble and cut into pattern pieces. The dresses are then sewn into bonnets, wraps and/or gowns.

“It’s an incredible feeling, especially when we go to the hospitals to donate,” says Diane. “I know it means a lot to the families.”

And it does.

“Although Ben Taub has had the angel gowns for just a short time, the impact has been significant,” says Suzy Lundeen, director, Nursing, Ben Taub Hospital. “The time, care and thoughtfulness that is put into each gown is truly remarkable. The gift that Diane has generously given affects not only the patients but also the nurses that care for these patients during a very vulnerable time. The impact the gowns will have on patients and families is immeasurable or even describable; they will provide comfort to the patient and family during great sorrow and grieving.”

Staff at LBJ Hospital expresses the same sentiments.

“Words cannot express the feeling of compassion and love I feel about these gowns,” says Margaret Dirden, nursing clinical manager, LBJ Hospital. “I know that for the family, every time they think about the loss of their baby, the last picture will be of their baby dressed like a prince or princess.”

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