It’s been less than six months since Ben last saw the inside of an operating room. Last June, he suddenly found himself undergoing surgery thanks to a broken nose. Now, just a few weeks ago, life resulted in Ben needing surgery for ear tubes.
But when the eight year old listened as the doctor explained to his parents that once again he was bound for the halls of St. Paul’s Hospital for an operation, his first question surprised everyone.
“Will I get another teddy bear?” he asked.
And that is the power of the bear – a magic that apparently turns lasting memories into positive ones.
Ben waiting for surgery in January with Darth Teddy, and his new friend, Darth Bear.
Registration Services in Saskatoon Health Region fundraises throughout the year to support and work with Teddy Bears Anonymous, a registered charity that makes new teddy bears available as a gift for when a child is admitted into hospital. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated staff within Registration Services, these teddy bears are now available at all three Saskatoon hospitals, and soon will be within Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.
Hearing that a second bear might be a possibility, excitement bubbled out of Ben instead of fear. “I am going to name him Darth Bear,” he told his mom. “He is going to be Darth Teddy’s brother.”
You see, Darth Teddy saw Ben through his surgery in June. It was an experience his parents shared with the Region in a story shortly after it occurred.
“Darth Teddy really became Ben’s partner through that day,” his dad had said at the time. “I was just so surprised to watch how each person used that bear to draw Ben’s attention away from what was happening. All our conversations with them included the bear. We even had some pick up on Ben’s love of Star Wars because of Darth Teddy, and joke about the force being there to guide both Ben and Darth Teddy through the surgery.”
His parents say they were surprised how much that experience set the stage for this one.
“Ben walked into the hospital that morning confident and pretty calm, and we are just so grateful for that,” explained his dad this time. “And because we were there on a day when other kids were getting surgeries, what was fascinating to watch was the reaction each child had when they were handed a bear during registration and the expressions on their faces. It was just priceless. You simply can’t underestimate what this bear does and wanted to share once again our thanks.”
And as Ben received his arm band, clutching Darth Teddy, he watched as the clerk reached behind her desk and delivered a new black bear into his waiting arms.
Darth Teddy had his brother, and Ben a new friend.
To read more about the “Power of a Teddy Bear and the Magic of a Caring Team” – read Ben’s story from June here.
To find out more about Teddy Bears Anonymous or to donate, click here