Northumberland woman makes more than 50 cancer respite pillows for local hospitals

A north Northumberland woman has started making heart-shaped pillows for women recovering from breast cancer.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 9:00 am
Christine Dobison with the cancer respite pillows she has made.

Christine Dobison got the idea after the saw the quality of two pillows her step-daughter, Julie Charlton, had bought online to aid her own recovery.

Over the past few weeks she has made about 50 of them, the majority sent to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and a smaller number making their way to Alnwick Infirmary.

Christine, who lives near Belford, said: “I had a sewing machine gifted to me and I make stuff for the community shop in Belford where I work but this is the first time I’ve done anything like this.

Christine Dobison.

"It came about when Julie came up and showed me the pillows she’d bought and they were full of polystyrene balls so you couldn’t wash them.

"So, I found a template and started doing them myself – with lots of help from villagers who have dropped off bags of stuffing and materials.

"It’s been absolutely brilliant. I’m doing them free of charge for the hospitals and they’ve been full of praise for the quality which was nice to hear.

"I’ve worked for charity all my life so it’s something I don’t mind doing for free.”

Christine Dobison has now made around 50 cancer respite pillows.

The pillows are designed to aid post-surgery support and recovery.

"I didn’t know about them before this came about but the idea is that after a mastectomy they help to make things a little bit more comfortable,” explained Christine. “The pillow goes under the armpit which is where the heart-shaped design works well and makes sure the arm doesn’t rub against the scar.”

The breast cancer pillow can also be used to prop the arm slightly so that the post mastectomy drain don’t pull until the incision heals and muscles have adjusted.

They also come with a ribbon so that a patient does not drop it.

Alnwick Infirmary.

“The idea is that women can get the pillows in hospital before they come out,” added Christine, who would like to be able to give the pillows to other health organisations too.

She is also making them for individuals and only charging for postage.

For more information email [email protected]

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