Meet our Team!
Hello!! We are Diane Herrick (right) and Cora Walkey (left)! Mother - Daughter team and the co-founders of Stitch It Forward Society of Lethbridge!
By Diane Herrick
December 8, 2018 my husband had a second heart attack. It was a terrible time as he was air lifted to the Calgary Foothills Hospital and as he flew away I over heard the nurses saying that they hoped he would survive the trip.
I was a mess as my son drove me up to the hospital not knowing if he would be alive when we got there.
When we arrived, we found him sitting up eating an apple visiting with his sister. What a great relief it was to see him, to hold him, to talk to him again. We were very lucky there was a fabulous medical team both in Lethbridge and in Calgary.
After a few tests we learned that he had four blockages and would require a double by-pass surgery the following week. Ok, we can do this, we can survive, we will be alright. An intrusive high risk surgery but at least he would be back to normal life in a few weeks.
The week of waiting or a surgery date and time seemed endless. He was completely bed ridden for fear of a blockage breaking loose and causing more problems. The nursing staff were amazing and took very good care of him while I returned to Lethbridge to work for a few days before surgery.
Thursday arrived and he was whisked off to surgery before 7 am. They worked their magic and fixed him up well. Following surgery, the pain was intense. Fortunately they kept him sedated for most of the first day. The second day he was moved out of ICU and was doing much better but he kept coughing. They said it was from the anesthetic and it was expected. Imagine coughing when your chest has been wired back together. I cringed every time he would start to gasp before coughing. Then a miracle happened....
A beautiful grandma type lady came to visit him. She was a volunteer with the hospital and brought a heart shaped pillow and told him to hug it when he moved, coughed, or spoke and it would help. My heart was touched because something as simple as a pillow brought so much
comfort to my husband. It basically held his chest tight as a protection while he moved.
The next day I talked to the head nurse and asked who makes the pillows and if they had enough. I was told that a few ladies get together once a month and make about 25 pillows. Unfortunately there are never enough to meet the needs as the Foothills Hospital sees many heart patients every day.
I have worked in non profit for many years and felt there is something I could do to help them. I talked with Volunteer Lethbridge, Blankets for Canada, Lethbridge Hospital Volunteer Services, and others and realized there are many groups making things but no central location or connection with those in need.
I recruited my daughter, Cora Walkey to help and together we applied for non profit status with the registry office on January 18th, 2019. We then applied for Charitable Status with Revenue Canada. Then received a business number from the Government of Canada.
Now, we wait. With any luck and lots of prayers, we will receive non profit and charitable status before the end of the year.
In the mean time, we need to raise some funds to open the not for profit. Our first event is a fabric/yarn/craft sale. We are now asking for donations and will sell it all with the money going to the organization. The money raised will be used as matching dollars when applying for grant dollars.
This is the beginning of our story but far from the end. My plan is to have organizations across Canada bringing volunteers together with those in need.
Follow our story as it grows.