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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Arkansas Marine Corps veteran with rare disease sews masks for VA hospital staff

“They’ve saved my life more than once,” Marine Corps Veteran Susan Head said of the VA hospital staff.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A veteran is now battling a rare disease, but she’s continuing to serve the community with a needle and thread. 

“They’ve saved my life more than once,” Susan Head said.

Head is a marine veteran and has a rare disease called Castleman’s and she says the V.A. is part of the reason she’s still here today.

“When they got short of masks we thought, ‘Well, we can make a few masks.’ We took in almost 40 the first time and didn’t even get out of the lab before they were gone,” Susan said.

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Susan taught her husband how to sew and together they’ve delivered hundreds of masks to medical staff and patients. 

“This is pretty good therapy for us. We’ve been putting in 12 to 15-hour days just sitting here making masks,” Shannon Vaughn said.

The couple even makes custom masks for veterans at the hospital to reflect their service. 

“We went up and got some material for all branches and we’ve been making a lot of those too,” Vaughn said.

This is just the beginning as they hope to provide masks for more veterans who need one. 

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“Some of the veteran’s clinics and the VFW’s have reached out to us,” Susan said. 

In times of division, they’ve found the masks bring people together. 

“We need something positive. We need to think about others, you know, instead of just ourselves,” Vaughn said.

Next week when Susan goes to her appointment, she’ll have another 350 masks in hand.