Schermafbeelding 2020-04-17 om 09.16.30 Schermafbeelding 2020-04-17 om 09.16.34

His Cardboard Trump Cutout Comforts Him

TC Palm


There are emotional support dogs, cats, horses, alligators and cardboard cutouts of President Trump.


Nelson Gibson, a stay-at-home dad with kidney problems, needs to undergo dialysis 3 times a week, which can take more than 3 hours at a time. Port St. Lucie resident Nelson Gibson tried to take this life-sized cutout of President Donald Trump to his dialysis appointment, but said staff refused to let him bring it in.


Gibson is, let's say, a fan of the president. There is a large pro-Trump banner in his front yard, a custom made Trump hat and Trump sneakers to complement the large jeweled cross around his neck. As such, he said, thinking about Trump makes him happy. So he'd begun taking pictures of Trump with him to his dialysis appointments - first an 8x10 portrait, then a slightly larger cardboard cutout of Gibson and his hero, follow up by a full-sized cutout of a grinning, thumb's-up Trump. But next time he showed up with the cutout, he said, it was a different story. "I felt I needed it for moral support," said Gibson. But a social worker said it was too big and "too much," he said. "I was shocked," said Gibson, who left without his treatment.


His son, Eric, was furious and called the kidney center, demanding an explanation. Eric said he was told the cutout was a safety concern - someone might trip over it - and caregivers worried it could be contaminated with blood or other materials and become a biohazard. Eric wasn't buying it. "This is all about politics," he said.


In a statement, Fresenius Medical Care North America said that while it was unable to discuss specific cases, "we strongly support the ability of all our patients to express their views, which includes bringing reasonably sized items into our dialysis centers that do not create safety or infection control issues, or interfere with caregivers on the treatment floor."


Dialysis is not pleasant, and many patients bring items that help them get through the process. Eric said one patient sits and pops bubble wrap, my dad wants to bring a Trump cutout with him.