Why I Am Volunteering With Mended Hearts

mendedheartsWhen I was in the hospital recovering from bypass surgery, a volunteer from an organization called Mended Hearts paid a visit to my room.  This was seven years ago and I was a little pumped up on morphine, so I don’t remember the name of the person or even what we talked about.

I do remember that he gave me a pillow that I was to hold against my chest if I needed to cough or laugh.  Doing either of those activities after open-heart surgery can be quite painful.   I made good use of the pillow, but put the name of my visitor and the organization out of my mind up until recently.

I forgot Mended Hearts because I wanted to forget about Mended Hearts.  I was pretty sure I could handle cardiac recovery on my own.  Honestly, I was young and incredibly gifted with street smarts.  What could go wrong?  Besides, I didn’t need help from some old guy!

Time to Give Back

A few weeks ago, I contacted Mended Hearts to inquire about volunteering.  So what is Mended Hearts?  I have taken the following description from the their website:

Our support groups help people understand that there can be a rich, rewarding life after heart disease diagnosis. Members listen, share their experiences and volunteer to talk to other heart patients about what they may face including lifestyle changes, depression, recovery, and treatment.

Mended Hearts volunteers offer peer-to-peer support to patients, family members and caregivers via:

  • Hospital Visiting – In person visit from a Mended Hearts volunteer while you are recovering
  • Online Visiting – Email check in and provide materials electronically
  • Phone Visiting – Calling to provide a word of hope

Our mission is to “inspire hope in heart disease patients and their families.”

This past Saturday I met with one of the coordinators and attended my first Mended Hearts support group meeting.  It was good to be among “my people”.  Over the next several months, I will get a few training sessions before I am fully qualified to begin my volunteer duties.

A big reason I started this blog was to fill an information and support gap for “younger” cardiac patients.  My motivation for volunteering with Mended Hearts is to connect with this same demographic.  I think this is a great organization and I am excited to get started.


  1. Should I now refer to you as Saint Paul? Good job, inspirational, etc.

  2. Giving back is very good for the heart too.

  3. Now why didn’t I think of that? Good point, thanks Jodi!

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