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About Stichting Stilgezet

About us

Stichting Stilgezet is an initiative founded by dr. Ehsan Natour, cardio and vascular surgeon, with an additional focus on aortic surgery. Disciplines that in most cases involve major, often life-saving medical treatment that has a major impact. Not only on the patient, but also on their loved ones and involved practitioners. The life of the patient and his/her family members and friends comes, as it were, “to a standstill”.

From daily experiences, Ehsan has found that it is an added value to provide a better insight into the emotions and mental state of patients during such a drastic life event. With this as his mission, he founded Stichting Stilgezet on 22 November 2019. The coming to a “standstill” of a life causes a wide variety of emotions. But how do you trace these emotions? How do you name them? How should a person’s environment deal with this? Questions that many people across the world have to deal with every day.

Being afraid of the unknown is a common human trait. When something happens, people want to go back to normal, to how things were before. People don’t like to be taken out of their comfort zone. There is no simple one-size-fits-all solution for dealing with the confusion and fears surrounding a life “coming to a standstill”. Everyone reacts and handles this differently.

To achieve this, Stichting Stilgezet offers tools to people who have (had) to deal with a major life event. By publishing a book, a podcast and by using various art forms such as a play and a music composition, the questions that these people are dealing with are interpreted. Art forms which are based on patient experiences that will take shape in the coming months and years and which, unlike science, are capable of describing the indescribable and naming the unnameable. All these art forms can make emotional and mental experiences such as death, love, fear, anger and grief tangible for people in a life-changing phase. What is its purpose? To provide comfort and insight where reason falls short.

Through scientific research, in collaboration with Health Foundation Limburg, to clarify the emotional and social context in this important phase of life. When we can predict how a specific person will react in a certain situation, medical professionals can apply the correct individual emotional guidance preventively. As a result, people return to their starting position more quickly.

The combination of art forms and scientific research ensures empathy and recognition, which increases the quality of life.


Stichting Stilgezet is there to provide insight into and comprehension of the emotional situation of patients and their loved ones before and after radical, often life-saving medical treatment which increases the quality of life. To make this goal understandable and tangible, experiences are translated into, among other things, a book, podcast, play, music composition, other art forms and scientific research.

The team

Ehsan Natour

Founder & chairman

“People fear the unknown. It is the recognition of emotions, a guideline. If you have one, you will also find your way back up faster.”

Frank van der Heijden


“When one of my best friends, a mutual friend of Ehsan’s, asked me after his sudden, radical operation if I wanted to do something for the foundation, I didn’t have to think twice!”

Fabienne Nijsten


“I hope we can remove some of the fear and uncertainty in patients and their environment.”

René Corten

Board member

“When your life suddenly changes completely and your reason comes up short, art can often be the medicine to understand and accept your situation and to provide comfort.”

Jan Smeets

Board member

“When you experience things so intensely, you are emotional and you think afterwards how is it possible that I survived this.”