Heart cushion


Proposer: Albert Schweitzer Hospital Dordrecht
Implementation: June 2016

Project description

Breast cancer patients who have to undergo surgery at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital are given a free handmade heart-shaped cushion by breast care nurses. This heart cushion can be carried under the arm, and cushions the sensitive area operated on (breasts and armpit glands). The pillow’s shape and soft material ensure a comfortable position and relieve pain. Swelling, pressure or tension in the shoulder are relieved when carrying the pillow. During long car journeys, the cushion can be placed beneath the seat belt to protect the area operated on.

The idea of using a heart pillow was first conceived by a patient.

It was then further elaborated by the ASZ. The heart-shaped pillow is made by clients of the small-scale workshop studio, "Naald en Draad” (“Needle & Thread”), an institution that supports people with a mental or physical disability.

For more information about this project please visit:


Patients are very satisfied with how the pillow works, and very pleased with this small gesture.

Impact on the healthcare professional

Finding sponsors for this project takes time and effort.

Impact on the healthcare institution

In providing this extra service to patients, the healthcare institution is confirming its patient vision.


Albert Schweitzer hospital
Albert Schweitzerplaats 25
3300 AK Dordrecht

Project contact person:
Chandra Ramlal (breast care nurse)

Other project team members:
Dr. Menke (breast surgeon)
Sandra den Besten- van Herk (breast care nurse)
Hanny Rikkers (breast care nurse)