Animations by KISD students to help children individually process their experiences after heart surgery and strengthen their personalities.

Every year, about 8,700 children are born with a heart defect in Germany, which means that every 100th child is born with heart disease. Today, more than 90% reach adulthood thanks to medical progress. What remains are scars, as signs of survived heart surgery – in other words, “heart signs.” The students of a six-week project under the direction of Prof. Iris Utikal and Stefan Terlinden, developed in the summer semester 2021 short animated films for children of elementary school age, which should help in processing the visible signs of their invisible history. To prepare and better understand the topic, the students researched the current media environment of the children, dealt with research results on dealing with social media and its consequences through social exclusion, and also had the opportunity to talk to experts, such as child psychologist Alice Schamong of the Uniklink Cologne. This is already the second project at KISD in cooperation with the Bundesverband Herzkranker Kinder e.V.


The animations motivate the children in different ways to adopt a positive attitude in dealing with their surgical scars. In HaiDu by Connor Biermann, David Delmay and Jihee Hwang, the shark with its many scars is presented as a strong role model, giving the little fish strength and courage. In the animation Herzzeichen by Lilli Monßen and Laia Sánchez, the function of the heart is explained, introducing children to scientific explanations in a playful way. Gans Besonders by Serin Gatzweiler and Jiye Kim is about the many peculiarities that all children have, which make living together so exciting. In Taylen&Castle by Huiling Wang and Lixiao Fang, the scar becomes a symbol of wisdom and protection. And in Schmuckstück by Özlem Gelgec and Youjin Kim, the protagonist experiences how important and special the scar is by learning the process of creating a pearl. The students were honored by BVHK e.V., for their commitment, their motivating stories and their visualization.

The students were honored by BVHK e.V., for their commitment, their motivating stories and their visualization.

The project was initiated and accompanied by Hermine Nock, Managing Director, Prof. Elisabeth Sticker, 2nd Chairperson, Lea Schornstein, Communications Designer & Social Media Manager and Volker Thiel of the BVHK e.V .