Tube Teddy Bears Help Sick Kids Understand Their Illnesses

February 7, 2019
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A woman is making sick kids smile after creating teddies who look just like them.

Fiona Allan from Glasgow suffers from a serious genetic condition where she has to make use of a nasal feeding tube and a surgical catheter.

Fiona found it quite difficult to adjust to her new appearance but felt even more for kids that may be going through the same thing.

Now she makes teddies with feeding tubes and stoma bags – and they are in demand!

Fiona told BBC: “As an adult I found it difficult to get used to life with extra medical things.”I have Ehlers Danlos syndrome and spent a third of the year in hospital in 2017.

“For most of that year I had a nasal tube and had to get used to it.

“I do crafts and soon after I was asked by a friend to create a teddy for a little girl with autism.

“It went down really well and when photos were posted online I was asked for more.”

Fiona says that the teddies that are made with actual fittings and tubes – help kids adjust and also teach others around them about the child’s condition.

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She said: “Sick children often have a non-sick sibling. It helps them get used to it. They can play with them, touch them and even learn what parents do to manage and clean them.

“For those children going to nursery they can play with the teddies and touch and pull the tubes without causing any harm to the child.”

The BBC reported on how Fiona’s work has helped a Mom – Emily Cotton.

Her 1-year-old daughter Darcey has 3 tubes and Emily was overjoyed with the benefits of the bunny that she had made for Darcey.

Emily said: “The teddy has helped my daughter adapt to the medical devices she now has.

“It distracts her from pulling the real ones out of her and it is comforting and easy to explain to other small children why my little one needs all her tubes to survive.”

Fiona has made about 20 of the bears and she has found medical supply companies who are in fact willing to give her out-of-date tubes to use, keeping her teddies true-to-life.

Fiona says: “I am helping kids in the same situation I am in. And it’s worth it to make them so happy.”

 

 

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