Updated: Sep 15, 2020
By Kirsten Garvin - Team Member and Staff Writer for The Cardiac Bear.
For 15 years Lynette Evans owned Gourmet Gift Baskets—a local gift basket company that served Springfield, Ohio. Its reputation and popularity grew, and among the organizations and businesses served was a hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The hospital had frequently commissioned beautiful gift baskets for all the new mothers in their Labor and Delivery wing, so when they realized they needed an open-heart surgery recovery pillow they knew Lynette would be able to help them.
Each Labor and Delivery gift basket had a special teddy bear inside; it was such a hit with patients that the hospital knew if the heart surgery pillow could be shaped like a teddy bear it would look as good as it worked!
Lynette spent months pouring over catalogs, scouring the internet, and squeezing and squishing every teddy bear at trade shows for just the right teddy bear that could meet and surpass the very high standards required for therapeutic hospital. Finally, as the searching came up empty, she realized no such bear existed yet—and it was time to design one!
Working closely with cardiologists, cardiovascular intensive care unit nurse managers, and the manufacturers, The Cardiac Bear was created!
As positive feedback from hospitals, patients, and their families rolled in it became clear to Lynette that The Cardiac Bear would be helpful to other hospitals whose patients were recovering from open-heart surgery, thoracic surgeries, mastectomies, bariatric surgeries, and cesarean sections, so Lynette’s company Xpand Your Brand Ltd. (Gourmet Gift Baskets’ parent company) began that process to make them widely available.
By 2017 The Cardiac Bear product lines were expanded with the introduction of an Antimicrobial Cardiac Bear and the vinyl Healing Hearts Pillow. Our antimicrobial treatment on the bear's fabric keeps them germ-free even after multiple washes. Infection control departments and nursing staff of our hospital clients LOVE the luxury vinyl on the Healing Hearts Pillow because it’s waterproof and can easily be thoroughly cleaned with a sani-wipe.
Patients and families can purchase individual Cardiac Bears and Healing Hearts Pillows, and hospitals can contact us at 937-206-6689 for a sample, bulk pricing discounts, and logo imprinting options.
We’re so grateful and honored that our bears have been able to be used all over the United States (and even internationally!) by patients going through health crisis and recovery--it makes our day!