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CoxHealth Patients to Benefit from Volunteer Event

CoxHealth Sewing Day (Credit: Michele Skalicky)

It’s appropriate that volunteers gathered today at the Cox North Fountain Room were making heart pillows—two days before Valentine’s Day.  But the fact that the holiday is close is just a coincidence. 

At least three dozen people gave up part of their day to make pillows and blanket for patients at CoxHealth.

Sewing machine

Some cut, some sewed, some ironed and others filled pillow cases.

Pat Long, volunteer coordinator at CoxHealth, says they make eye pillows filled with flax seed to give to patients in the intensive care unit, labor and delivery and to chemotherapy patients.  They also make blankets for children in the emergency room and pediatrics.  And they make red heart shaped pillows for patients that are having open heart surgery.

"When they have open heart surgery they have to cough and deep breathe, and they can kind of hold it close to their chest, and it gives them kind of padding, and it really helps ease the pain," she said.

And the flaxseed eye pillows help anxious patients relax.  The pillow’s gentle weight is said to soothe muscles and acupressure points around the eyes.

Volunteer Jill Bright was in charge of purchasing the supplies for the sewing day (with money from a CoxHealth Auxiliary grant) and has volunteered for several years.  She ironed as she talked about why she volunteers.

"Just knowing that we can give to people that need the extra comfort, the support of the heart pillow when they've had cardiac surgery or the eye pillows when they're maybe on the psych unit or the emergency room or all the other places we send them," she said.

"Every department gets them," Long said.

"It's just a good feeling knowing that you can make just that small amount of difference in somebody's hospital stay," Bright said.

Volunteers ranged in age from retired folks to children.  Twelve-year-old Megan Hicks has helped out for more than a year doing a little bit of everything.

"It's really nice.  It's fun.  There's a lot of things you get to do.  I filled eye pillows with seeds so in the ER it won't be as hard on the eyes with all the bright lights around," she said.

Sewing days are held once a month—the next one is March 12 from 9 to 3 at Cox North in the Fountain Plaza Room—and everyone is welcome to help out even if you don’t know how to sew.

To find out more, 269-3169.