WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– Volunteers are giving hope to heart patients by offering comfort and support to those in the hospital. What makes these volunteers special is they know exactly what these patients are going through.
To volunteer for the “Mended Hearts” program you have to have had what’s called a heart event yourself. Only then can you share your experience and help others recover.
Dale Slosky is recovering from a triple bypass at Exempla Lutheran Medical Center when he gets a visit from Bill Brown.
“You’ve just joined the club as an ongoing coronary artery disease patient,” said Brown.
Brown has been a member of that club for two years. He also spent time in Exempla Lutheran Medical Center recovering from heart surgery.
Now he has returned as a volunteer for “Mended Hearts” where former heart patients reassure others.
“I was frustrated that I couldn’t walk as much as I wanted to so to break it up I would go for two to three walks a day,” said Brown.
His visit is designed to lift the spirits of Slosky.
At Holly Creek Retirement Community in Centennial it looks like a group of ladies is socializing but the seniors are also stitching, stuffing and sticking labels on heart pillows.
Those pillows are given to heart patients shortly after surgery. They are designed to fit on top of the incision.
“It really gives you comfort from the pain initially but then later it kind of becomes a teddy bear,” said volunteer Chris Esch.
Esch has kept his pillow since his surgery eight years ago. He’s a volunteer coordinator with Mended Hearts.
LINK: Mended Hearts