For many of children, going to the hospital is frightening, from the loud MRI machines to the poking of all the needles. It can sometimes make it difficult for doctors to do their jobs to heal the little ones. At Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, they hosted a Teddy Bear Clinic. Each patient was given a teddy bear, and with the help of nurses the children took the bears through the same medical processes they go through at the hospital. "They helped me put on a cast on him and you can give him shots and medicine," says Kayla Pilate, 9, who says her teddy bear broke his leg after falling off his bike. Sarah Antonacci, 4, says her teddy bear "got a boo-boo on his foot;" as she went through bandaging him and drawing his medicine, her mother says it helped Sarah understand what doctors are doing to her. "She understands it more through almost a play therapy," says Sarah's mother Monica Antonacci, "She's understanding what they're doing with her more because she's weighed and they've done her vital signs and they've listened to her heart." It's the goal of the hospital to have their young patients understand the process by bringing it down to their level so their hospital experience is less frightening. "We always want to do things to take away the fear factor both from the unknown and anything they see around here," says Tim Flack, Director of the Patient and Family Care Center, "We have the mock MRI they can see how that works, they can see how to draw medicine, how to put a splint on, how to have a cast on… anything they might encounter here at the hospital." The children come out of the Teddy Bear Clinic with that understanding of the medical procedures and a smile on their face. They also realize what it all means for them in the end. "It's like just getting well. It makes you get well and better," says Pilate. ------- The FedExFamilyHouse, which becomes home to families of out of town Le Bonheur patients, is experiencing empty pantries and rely on donations to fill them. They are in great need of the following items:
- Individual bags of chips
- Little Debbie Snacks
- Bottled water and juice boxes
- Individual pudding and applesauce cups
- Individually packaged toothbrushes and toothpaste.
E-mail Brittany Adams at email@example.com to schedule a drop-off appointment or bring your donations to the FedExFamilyHouse at 918 Poplar Ave., in Memphis.