Lynda Reil-Luelo is making headbands for healthcare workers in Vernon and other parts of the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She also mailed a batch to a hospital in northern Ontario Saturday, April 18, 2020. (Contributed)

Lynda Reil-Luelo is making headbands for healthcare workers in Vernon and other parts of the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She also mailed a batch to a hospital in northern Ontario Saturday, April 18, 2020. (Contributed)

Okanagan quilter makes headbands for nurses amid COVID-19

Masks can be hooked to buttons on the headbands to release pressure around the ears

A Coldstream quilter is donating mask-supporting headbands to healthcare workers in Vernon and beyond.

Lynda Reil-Luelo works for a security company at the Kelowna airport but is unable to work during the COVID-19 pandemic due to health conditions. With more time on her hands, she decided to call her friend, Christine Hesketh, who works at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital to see if she could provide any needed quilted items.

Reil-Luelo asked Hesketh about scrub caps, having heard there were shortages of the surgical caps in various parts of the country.

“She said no, they didn’t really need caps because the healthcare workers have hair nets and the doctors have these caps already. But she mentioned to me that these bandanas are something that are in need.”

Homemade masks have become common during the pandemic, but nurses and healthcare workers don’t typically use quilted masks if medical-grade masks are available.

READ MORE: Summerland quilter ready to produce reusable face masks

Reil-Luolo’s headbands complement the masks healthcare workers wear by taking pressure off the ears, reducing the need to readjust over the course of a lengthy shift.

“They hook the mask onto the buttons and it saves their ears,” she said.

Reil-Luelo says she’s made 40 to 50 masks so far and will continue to produce more as needed. From what Hesketh told her after distributing the masks at the hospital, the need hasn’t yet been filled.

“I gave her 10, and the first day she went into the hospital they were gone. She asked me for 10 more and it’s just kind of gone from there.”

Reil-Luelo’s headbands aren’t just going to Vernon healthcare workers. On Saturday, April 18, she also mailed a batch to a hospital across the country.

“My friend’s daughter is a nurse in northern Ontario and they have the same problem,” she said, adding the friend’s daughter is working at a unit designated for patients with COVID-19.

Reil-Luelo is a regular quilter and has bins full of fabric on hand. She said she’s gotten help from friends and neighbours who gave her some of the large buttons she needs for the headbands.

Reil-Luelo said her company has been gracious and understanding about her having to stay home amid COVID-19, and the headbands are a way for her to pay it forward.

“I’m a retired Mountie and because of my work and the things I’ve seen, I’ve always believed the world would be a better place if people could just be kind.”

READ MORE: Vernon women spending quarantine making masks


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Delays expected on Lakeshore Road this week

Northbound traffic on Lakeshore between Richter and Barrera will be detoured for paving

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets at Prospera Place in Kelowna (Craft Culture Events/Contributed).
Kelowna’s Prospera Place summer market a success

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets and vendors were ‘excited’ to be back

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read