When a Child Needs a Friend - A Bear Is There
A Story Of A Bear
A call came one day from an anxious mom asking for a replacement bear to one her son had received at UC Davis Trauma Center three years earlier. The story she shared was filled with fear, anxiety, joy, and happiness. It highlighted the impact that our Bears program makes on lives. It was such a compelling and beautifully written story with pictures that we feel that it should be shared with the community.
Our youngest son, 18-months old at the time and the younger of our twin boys, had a near-fatal accident and was medi-flighted to UC Davis in critical condition. We were incredibly fortunate, despite him coding, he was a best-case scenario and suffered no oxygen deprivation or brain-function loss. We are grateful every day to still have him to hold, love and nurture, because we were so close to losing him.
When we got to UC Davis, it was a whirlwind of doctors and nurses and tests and monitoring and fear. Somehow, I am not even sure how, this little brown bear in a blue Assistance League shirt appeared. He grabbed hold of that bear and held on tight. He wanted it near him all times and when the nurses or doctors would come in for more tests or evaluations, he would grip that bear like a vice. This bear meant so much to him– more than just comfort, it was something normal, something that made him feel ok and even happy, even when he was surrounded by beeping machines and attached to scary tubes and wires.
When we left the hospital, of course, Bear came too. And he rarely left our son’s side. As a result of his attachment to this new friend, he earned the nickname Eddie Bear, which we call him to this day. As you can see by the photos, Eddie Bear came with us on trips and adventures and was hardly ever more than a few feet away. Eddie Bear continued to represent to him what it meant at the hospital – comfort, safety, security, and happiness.
Unfortunately, a few months ago, we somehow misplaced his bear. Our son has been distraught since and brings it up almost daily. I finally thought to reach out to you, and was met with so much kindness and understanding.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am for everything you have given our family – not one but TWO – very special bears. But also hope, comfort, and joy at a time when there was very little to be found. Thank you for all of your work and service to the communities. This bear program may seem small, but it has an enormous impact. Thank you so much again.