CHEYENNE – A Cheyenne man and former Worland newspaper editor delivered shoes on Tuesday to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, one of the health systems that treated him earlier this year when he was ill with COVID-19.
Bob Vines and a crew of family and friends delivered more than 200 pairs of shoes to certified nursing assistants and hospital staff at CRMC, free of charge to them. The shoes were provided by BALA, a company that designs footwear specifically with nurses and health-care workers in mind.
“It went better than I expected,” Vines told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “The CNAs were really appreciative, and the shoes themselves went over well. It was a good day.”
Vines caught the virus in July and spent three weeks in the intensive care unit at CRMC. He said he was fully vaccinated when he caught COVID.
While in the hospital, he began to talk with the nurses and hospital staff and discovered that a quality pair of shoes was a precious commodity among them.
After being transferred to the Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital in Loveland, Vines decided to create a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to purchase good-quality shoes for the CNAs at the hospitals that treated him during his illness.
He said he was in a position where he did not need financial help for himself, so he wanted to pass on something to the people who cared for him.
“We raised $5,575 that will go to pay for shoes at cost, shipping and special orders. It is absolutely amazing what we pulled off,” Vines wrote on social media. “Consider that these are two of the top-rated professional nursing shoes. If we were to purchase these online, the retail cost is more than $34,000!”
Despite delivering more than 200 pairs of shoes to CRMC this week, Vines is not done. Next are plans to deliver a truckload of DANSKO nursing shoes to the Northern Colorado Long-Term Acute Hospital and the rehabilitation hospital, courtesy of Schnee’s Boots, Shoes and Outdoors in Bozeman, Mont.
“I’m grateful for the partnerships we made,” Vines told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “It felt really good to be part of something positive with our health care workers, especially now. I have a philosophy of trying to leave people a little better than you found them. This sort of project fuels me.”
Vines was released from the hospital in early September after 49 days. He spent 23 days on a ventilator during his time at CRMC, he said.