Last Friday was an historic day for the Surgical Research Trust and baby gear company phil&teds, with their 5000th phil&teddy bear being given to a child needing a bear-hug as they bravely face a surgical procedure. And to make it even more special, The Wellington Phoenix turned up to hand deliver the phil&teddy. 21-month old Lucah Webb received the 5000th bear in Wellington Children's Hospital, presented by Phoenix footballers Andrew Durante and Glen Moss.
phil&ted passionately support the Surgical Research Trust for a number of reasons. They love the dual benefit of assisting the child undergoing surgery and also the financial support for education and research. "It's innovative, it's a New Zealand way of doing things, and has broad appeal - all qualities that we love."
phil&teds' phil&thropic (could it be anything else?) Programme Leader, Nicola Cloherty, connected instantly when she read one of the Trust's case studies. "When I read Julia's case I couldn't believe it! I was about six months old when I was diagnosed with Hirschsprung disease (a developmental disorder of the enteric nervous system). I was lucky that it has not affected me in later life; some cases can be so much more extreme. It's such a rare condition and is four times more common in males than in females, and occurs in about 1 in 5,000 births. Without amazing surgeons, accompanied by research into treatment, life could have been so different - I still have the care bear from my time in hospital. That's why supporting the SRT, and their amazing work, is incredible to be a part of, personally, alongside an organisation that supports their work."
As part of a sponsorship agreement with the Surgical Research Trust, a phil&teddy friend is given to each child undergoing surgery, providing cuddles and comfort in an uncertain time. Surgeons also often use the bears as a prop when explaining procedures to children.
The teddy bear scheme has been in place for four years in hospitals in Wellington, Christchurch and the Waikato region. At the end of the day, phil&teddy is there to make a child's recovery just that little bit more "bear-able".
For more details, check out philandteds.com
Published 12 June, 2013