A doctor in Canada performed ‘surgery’ on a little boy’s teddy after the boy asked the doctor to fix his bear.
Eight-year-old Jackson Mckie was heading into surgery when he asked Dr Daniel McNeely if he could also fix his bear, called Little Bear.
Dr McNeely tweeted, ‘How could I say no?’ and shared photos of himself ‘operating’ on the bear, fixing a tear underneath its arm, complete with surgical gloves and face masks.
Patient asks if I can also fix teddy bear just before being put off to sleep… how could I say no?
Patient asks if I can also fix teddy bear just before being put off to sleep… how could I say no? pic.twitter.com/WOKFc5zr91
— P. Daniel McNeely (@pdmcneely) September 30, 2018
Jackson suffers with a condition called hydrocephalus, an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid. The doctor was repairing a shunt which helps drain the fluid and release pressure from Jackson’s brain.
Dr McNeely has been one of Jackson’s primary neurosurgeons since he was born.
Both patients are said to be recovering well after successful operations.
Jackson’s father, Rick McKie, told CBC:
[Jackson] was so proud. He had Little Bear laying up in the hospital bed with him and everything.
Rick added how grateful he was to Dr McNeely and all the staff at the hospital, who went the extra mile to help their son, saying:
It made us feel better about being there.
Dr McNeely said a lot kids bring stuffed toys into the operating room for comfort during procedures, but Jackson’s request was a first. And despite never having operated on a toy bear before, Dr McNeely said he ‘wasn’t too worried’ about carrying out the small operation.
The doctor’s kind actions have meant he’s received a fair amount of attention since the operation, and has been overwhelmed by the reaction on social media. Though, of course, that wasn’t the reason for doing it.
It’s not what I was looking for, I just thought I might make some people smile somewhere.
It seems to have worked! The tweet, at the time of writing, has been shared almost 12,000 times.
One person responded:
This made my day, love the mask!
While Jackson’s brother also replied, saying:
That’s my brothers bear!! Thank you so much dr. McNeely you’re a literal life saver [sic]
This made my day :) love the mask !
— Ayoub Dakson (@AyoubDakson) September 30, 2018
That’s my brothers bear!! Thank you so much dr. McNeely you’re a literal life saver
— Dustin Mckie (@DustinMckie1) October 2, 2018
Another doctor, this time from California, also found a light-hearted way to cheer up his young patients – through dance.
Insisting on smiling, dancing and interacting with the people he looks after in the hospital, 42-year-old Tony has earned the nickname of ‘Dancing Doc’ at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).
Hoping to protect the ‘magic of childhood’ in all of his patients, despite some of their conditions, Tony pledges to continue dancing throughout his medical career.
Tony, who’s also an army veteran, said:
Dancing with patients is important because it adds levity and joy to the hospital experiences.
What I’m doing is right in with CHOC’s commitment to preserving the magic of childhood and ensuring patients don’t have to put their childhoods on pause.
It’s not just for fun though, as studies have shown, when people laugh, smile, and become more interactive in general, the effect on the brain can be more powerful than some pain medication.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.