ER nurse makes patients smile with over 150 designs painted onto his mohawk

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MURRAY — An emergency room nurse at Intermountain Medical Center is using his funky hairdos to make his patients smile.

Nurse Thomas "Zach" Zacharias said when the pandemic first hit, his children looked for a way to pass the time. They decided to shave dad's head into a mohawk and paint it.

"You had the lockdowns, you had patients that were isolated so we wanted to do something fun," Zacharias said. "COVID took away 50% of my ability to express myself [with a mask on] so we went up and we found another 50% we could do something with."

Zacharias and his children spend one to two hours on each design. So far, they have styled his mohawk with a different look every workday since spring 2020, totaling about 150 designs.

"It's a lot, it's a little crazy," he said. "We've had beehive honeycomb patterns, for Halloween we did a jack-o'-lantern and we actually hid one of the little lights inside. For one design the kids put a nice big stamp that said, 'Stay Calm.'"

The family has documented the intricate work on social media with Instagram handle @MohawkNurse.

He says, without fail his hair is an icebreaker with new patients and when it comes to caring for someone in need, he feels a strong connection makes all the difference.

"You get to know them, they get to know you. You make a connection much faster," Zacharias said. "My patients love the hair; their loved ones loved it and I think that's just one of those things that connects us."


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Ashley Moser
Ashley Moser co-anchors KSL 5 Live at 5 with Mike Headrick and reports for the KSL 5 News at 10. She was born and raised on the island of O’ahu and worked as a reporter in Hawaii and a handful of cities across the U.S.


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