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This Valentine’s Day, an effervescent group of about 30 women, dressed in their festive red gear, piled out of the SunRail train in front of AdventHealth Orlando, passing down dozens of bags to each other like an assembly line. They hauled the bags across the campus and into the main lobby of the hospital. These ladies were on a mission to donate hearts to patients for Heart Month. Heart-shaped pillows of various fun colors and patterns, to be more specific.
The Central Florida Spokes is a local organization that builds connections through social and charitable activities. One of their activities for Heart Month is sewing and stuffing heart-shaped pillows for patients recovering from open heart surgery. This year, they sewed and stuffed 425 of the pillows for patients at AdventHealth Orlando.
“I started doing this 10 years ago when I first joined the club, and I did it because it looked like fun and I’m sort of a crafty person,” said Linda Cornell, past president of Central Florida Spokes. “As I got into it and realized how important it was to the patients, it really felt good that I could do something to help so many people and have fun at the same time.”
Cornell enjoys the camaraderie among the women as they come together to sew the pillows, stuff them with fiber fill, pack them into bags and then deliver them to the hospital. A beautiful project like this allows them to enjoy their time together while they do something good in their community.
“We take the pillows to patients recovering from open heart surgery because we understand that once they put those ribs back together, sneezing and coughing is very painful,” Cornell said. “The heart pillows are stiff, and they give sternum support, so it really helps to provide a little bit of comfort during that time.”
The lively bunch even sewed on a strap to each pillow so patients could hook them on their walkers and have their hearts with them at all times.
“At AdventHealth, we focus on whole-person care, healing the body, mind and spirit, so we are honored to have organizations like Central Florida Spokes showing love to our patients at the hospital,” said Vivian Cook, senior manager of volunteer services at AdventHealth. “We greatly appreciate our community for providing these heart-warming moments to our patients during a time they need it the most.”
For more information about AdventHealth’s volunteer program, visit AdventHealth Central Florida Volunteer Services | AdventHealth
This story appeared on “AdventHealth TV,” AdventHealth’s internal newscast for its Central Florida Division team members. Watch here: Volunteers Donate Heart Pillows to AdventHealth - AdventHealth TV Story