Teddy Bears help kids though surgery and healing process - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Teddy Bears help kids though surgery and healing process


The doctor's office can be scary for any kid. When it involves heart surgery, it can be almost terrifying.

So the organization Teddyhearts came up with a way to make the whole experience a little comforting.

"It's almost like a regular bear, she sleeps with me every night, and when I go to the doctor, she comes with me," said 6-year-old Jonathan Dockins.

Almost like a regular bear, but these bears have something special.

"This is her heart surgery, and this is her bladder surgery," said Dockins.

"They have a friend, and the bear's going through the same thing, they don't feel like they're the only one," said Jonathan's mom, Dee Dee Dockins.

Dee Dee Dockins started the organization Teddyhearts after her son Jonathan had heart surgery. Now, they create teddy bears with "heart prints," or scars, to match the child who has had the surgery.

"It's soft, it's a friend, who's gone through the same procedures, gone through the same doctor's appointments, and it's just good to have something soft and cuddly by their heart," said Dockins.

"She keeps me safe in the hospital when I have to have surgeries," said Jonathan Dockins talking about his special bear.

Dockins gives the bears to eligible kids for free. To qualify, a child has to be 10-years-old or younger, and have had heart surgery, or scheduled to in the future.

Thursday the organization gave a friend to a new child, 10-year-old Emma Watson.

"It's such a positive spin on the scar, and the surgery," said Emma's mother Claire Watson.

Watson says she hopes the healing paw of the bear, will bring a helping hand of comfort to her daughter.

"The surgery, the Echocardiograms, the doctor's appointments, all the check-ups, they're scary, every time you have one, you worry," said Watson.

"They have to have all kinds of surgeries and it's very scary, so they have to have them with them to keep them safe," said Jonathan Dockins.

"These kids are going through so much, and so are the families, so if we can offer a bit of comfort, that's what we want to do," said Dee Dee Dockins.

"Such a simple thing as a teddy bear can bring so much comfort," said Watson.

To apply for a bear, or to donate to the cause, go to the Teddyhearts website here.

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