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Wellington's Wakefield and Bowen hospitals welcome phil&teddy

18 October 2017

news release

Sick children undergoing surgery in Wellington’s Wakefield and Bowen hospitals were comforted this week with the arrival of close to 200 teddy bears to the hospital 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 time the bears have been introduced to Wakefield and Bowen hospitals.

“We're so grateful and fortunate to have phil&teds as our key sponsor of the Surgical Research Trust. Wakefield hospital is the largest private surgical hospital in central New Zealand and regardless of where children are having surgery, they are always in need of something to help them get through the emotional stress of an operation.

“Not only do the bears 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!”

Ian England, Chief Executive for Acurity Health Group, which owns and operates both Wakefield and Bowen hospitals, says they’re very grateful to the Trust and phil&teds for introducing the bears.

“The introduction of the bears into Wakefield and Bowen hospitals further strengthens the long term association Acurity has as a partner with the Surgical Research Trust.”

The programme has been in place for several years with bears distributed in hospitals in the wider Wellington region, Christchurch and the Waikato.

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 paediatrics, diabetes, orthopedics and heart, renal and brain disease.