Volunteers mend hearts of families and surgery patients

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) When someone is scheduled for surgery, the patient and their family often deal with lots of emotions. There are Mended Heart Volunteers at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital that help families through the tough times.

"They have a lot of time with the family while the patient is in surgery," said nurse Cathy Jennings. "They ask them lots of questions, especially ones they don't ask doctors or nurses."

Mended Heart members can answer those questions because they know first hand. In order to be a Mended Heart volunteer you have to have gone through some type of heart surgery. The chapter of the organization at Carilion is 35 years old. In 2017, the Mended Heart members served more than 2,000 hours.

Harry Richardson, a four year volunteer, says the organization helped his family. "I want to let them see it is not the end of something this is a new beginning for them, " said Richardson.