NEWTON, Kan. -

Going through surgery is not a lot of fun, but one group of church ladies in Newton is making recovery a little easier for surgical patients.

In the last dozen years, Pat Granaas and her friends from church have handmade 6,000 surgical pillows to hand out to patients.

These pillows serve a specific and important purpose.

"We need just a small pillow that you can put against your belly or stomach and hold on to when you have surgery so that you can cough," said Karla Stauffer, Newton Medical Center. "If you don't cough, there's a chance of getting pneumonia."

Nurses say the patients enjoy having a little present they can take home with them. For Granaas and her friends, it feels good to give back.

"It makes me feel good that we can do something to help," said Granaas. "We have seen people in town or in their cars with our pillows, and we think, good, they're using them."

According to Granaas, the quilter who does most of the pillow sewing is 97 years old.