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Heart Pillows Created by Caring Hands Help with Recovery and Bring Comfort to Cardiac Patients at Sarasota Memorial Hospital

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Heart Pillows from students - photo by Chris FlannaganTami Holm, a teacher of 9-12th graders at West Florida Christian School, teaches Life Management classes like cooking, carpentry, auto and bike mechanics – and one of her favorites, sewing. Her classes are designed to instill confidence and a little more independence in her students as they grow.

But her latest project – sewing pillows for patients recovering in Sarasota Memorial’s cardiac care unit – comes straight from the heart. Her students chose to sew heart pillows for the hospitalized patients after Holm told them about her father’s bypass surgery at Sarasota Memorial in 2001 and the special pillows sewn by volunteers that helped him and so many others during their healing process.

“My father received excellent care at SMH and I wanted to give something back,” Holm said. “I also wanted my students to see how their efforts can help impact others in our community, and hopefully encourage them to continue helping others long after they leave my class.”

Julie Polaszek, RN C, BS, clinical manager of Sarasota Memorial’s cardiac recovery unit, recently invited the class to hand deliver their 25 pillows to patients on the unit and gave them a tour of the hospital.

By the time they left that day, they were already envisioning their next project: Creating drawstring “ditty bags” to hold baby supplies and personal belongings for families of premature and critically ill newborns recovering in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Date Published: January 14, 2010

Media Contact: Kim Savage
Phone: (941) 917-6271

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