HOUSTON — Nearly 20 years ago, Paige Hardy was a patient at Children's Memorial Hermann hospital when she received the gift of a lifetime.
“I’m 24 and I’ve had 21 surgeries in my lifetime. When I was a kid the one thing that brought me comfort… was this blanket," Hardy said in a TikTok video that has since gone viral.
She was just six years old when she received the blanket.
“The front side is these clouds... then the back is these stars in the night sky," Hardy said.
Her family was from San Antonio, but she suffered from ectopic ureters, a bladder condition that made her very sick. Now, she has a reconstructed bladder.
Hardy and the blanket became inseparable.
“When you feel like you’re just another patient or another number, having something to personalize your space and comfort you when you’re there, it just means the world.”
But what made the blanket even more special was who made it. It was given to her by a 13-year-old girl with cancer who was volunteering at the hospital.
“To know that somebody was using their pain – and in their time of pain – potentially the short amount of time they had left right – because she had cancer – to use that to give to others… that changed my life.”
Hardy never met her, only hearing from a nurse that that girl had given Hardy, and other sick children, the handmade blankets.
“She used embroidery thread in a way I've never seen used before throughout the pattern. I know that she used two different colors of thread… pink and blue… on the top and bottom.”
The blanket has been with Hardy through everything... tea parties, prayers and even her first kiss.
“It is the most valuable thing I own," she said in the video.
Today, Hardy has no idea who that woman is, but she's hoping to either be able to thank her personally or her family.
“Maybe she thought I’d have it for a year before throwing it away or donating it. And I want her parents to know if she didn’t survive that her life was one that impacted others.”
Paige's video on TikTok has over 650,000 views as of Saturday night.
To contact Paige you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.