One of the more unique funding requests received by the Patient Alumni is for something referred to as a cough pillow. These pillows are custom made, and are about a third the size of a regular standard pillow.
When someone needs open-heart surgery, the sternum is cut open to allow access to the heart. Once the sternum is closed using either a form of staples or special glue, the patient can experience bouts of pain during the healing process. Imagine having to cough or sneeze, and being terrified of the pain it brings during the first few weeks after surgery. A patient recovering from open-heart surgery can hold one of these cough pillows snug against the chest, thus minimizing the stress on the rib cage when coughing.
The nursing staff has heard many glowing testimonials about these small but mighty items. One patient was heard saying, “Don’t stand between me and my cough pillow!” Another patient said, “I am not leaving the hospital unless I can take my cough pillow with me”. And indeed, they do get to take the pillows home with them. Funding is available to provide a cough pillow to every patient who needs one to relieve pain.