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Mended Hearts reaches out

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By John Barnhart

One of the area organizations that gives scholarships to students pursuing post-high school education is Mended Hearts.

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    Mended Hearts consists of individuals, and members of their families, who have undergone some sort of heart procedure. They have a vested interest in the continued availability of quality medical professionals and their scholarships go to nursing students. This year, Mended Hearts gave $250 scholarships to Crystal  Jadallah and Tiffany Phillips. Both are students in the local licensed practical nurse (LPN) program.

    The organization also provides comfort to heart patients. Volunteers visit hospitals and having somebody, who has been where you are, can help those facing a heart-related surgical procedure.

    There is one Mended Hearts visitor, however, who hasn’t had any cardiac procedure. Maggie is  effective in the role of comforter, although she doesn’t have much to say. She’s a little on the small side, too. Maggie weighs about 30 pounds, goes around on all fours and has a cold, wet, black nose.

    John Sites, who often goes around on a motorcycle, rescued Maggie from the pound nearly six years ago. Since then, the friendly little dog has been approved through Lynchburg General Hospital’s pet therapy program and has been registered with Therapy Dog International.

    Like human volunteer visitors at Lynchburg General, Maggie wears a green vest. Sites’ wife, Marylin, made it and it has the Mended Hearts logo on it — a red heart with a zig-zag line of white stitches across it. She also wears a Centra volunteer photo ID card in a card holder attached to her vest.