ALLEN (CBSDFW.COM) — Katrina Looper stays up at night making masks.
“It’s like I’m in a zone,” she said.
The mother of four from Allen estimates in the last couple months she’s probably made a thousand of them.
“I can sew until 6, 7 a.m.,” she said.
It’s one way to avoid the nightmares. Last July, her two oldest children were tubing on Lake Texoma with friends.
The boat pulling them came too close to a metal dock, where Katrina sat watching in horror.
“It propelled them into the dock and it was just like five bodies went flying,” she said. “It’s really hard to get that vision out of your head.”
17-year old-Dawson remembers the impact and then being buoyed up by his life jacket.
“I woke up emerging from the water,” he said.
He broke his leg in three places and suffered a compound fracture in his hip.
“I couldn’t feel my legs. Like, I couldn’t move them,” he recalled.
His sister was seriously injured, too.
“She had multiple facial fractures, loss of eight top teeth, broken nose, broken jaw, broken cheek bone,” said Katrina.
The siblings were flown to Medical City Plano, where they spent two weeks undergoing several surgeries.
“I can’t explain how grateful I am,” said Dawson, of the doctors and nurses who cared for him.
He hoped to show his appreciation by upgrading the hospital’s healing garden as his Eagle Scout project, but his plans fell apart when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“They’re not letting anyone up at the hospital,” Katrina said.
That’s when Dawson said his mother’s hobby became his inspiration — masks would become his contribution.
The teen sent his fellow troop members instructions on how to sew a mask and looped in his neighbors, too.
He also provided the materials and collected the finished product.
On Tuesday, his family delivered about 300 masks to the hospital.
They were greeted by some of the familiar faces who helped care for them last year.
“I had a really big smile on my face,” Dawson said.
For Katrina, the gift has given meaning to so many nights’ hard work.
“I felt really good about being able to do this and give back to the doctors who did so much for my kids,” she said.
The hospital says its staff is required to wear medical grade masks at work, but told CBS 11 that Dawson’s masks will go to people who need them.