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Waikato kids facing surgery given a ‘bearable’ boost in hospital

16 November 2016

news release

Sick children undergoing surgery in Waikato Hospital were comforted today with the arrival of hundreds of teddy bears to the pediatric wards.

The phil&teddy bears are part of a joint venture between the Surgical Research Trust and award-winning juvenile products company, phil&teds. Children facing surgery are given a teddy bear to provide cuddles and comfort at a stressful time.

Surgeons can also use the bears as a prop when explaining procedures to children before they undergo their operation which makes the whole process more ‘bearable’. The phil&teddy is theirs to adopt, name and take home.

This is the first launch of a new batch of bears.

“We're so fortunate to have phil&teds as our key sponsor of the Surgical Research Trust. 200 phil&teddy bears have been donated to help young children at Waikato Hospital get through the emotional stress of surgery. Not only does it cheer up the child undergoing surgery but it has a positive flow on effect for families and staff facing the surgical procedures ahead.” said Grant Kiddle, Chair of The Surgical Research Trust.

Campbell Gower, Chief Executive of phil&teds, is delighted his company is part of the initiative.

“We love the dual benefit of providing a hospital friend for the child undergoing surgery and financial support to the Trust for education and research.

“We’re committed to funding projects that genuinely help the New Zealand community and medical world to boot - whether that’s through the phil&teddy programme, summer medical student projects or bladder obstruction experiments!”

Mr Gower says his father and grandfather were both prominent doctors in the Waikato region, which holds special meaning for today’s launch.

“We are grateful to the Surgical Research Trust and phil&teds for their generosity. These bears are so much more than a cute cuddle toy for children in hospital in our Waikids wards. They provide a form of recovery through smiles and comfort which helps take part of the fear away from being in hospital,” said Waikato DHB pediatric play specialist Suzanne Minns.

“Hospital Play Specialists also use the bears to provide preparation and understanding to support children to cope with potentially stressful experiences such as surgical procedures.” said Ms Minns. 

The Surgical Research Trust was established in 1992 by Wellington renowned orthopedic surgeon Professor Geoffrey Horne to fund local and national surgical research. The main aim of the Surgical Research Trust is to give researchers the opportunity to further medical and surgical knowledge by funding their chosen research projects. More than 90 research projects have been funded since it was established, including research into areas such as pediatrics, diabetes, orthopedics and heart, renal and brain disease.