Most people don’t like having to stay in hospital, and who can blame them? It’s a necessary evil that isn’t a lot of fun and you’re left counting down the days until you can leave.
It’s normal to get somewhat anxious when you have to go under the knife, so imagine how bad a small child must feel in this situation. Dr. Travis Groth, a pediatric surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee in Wisconsin, knows this all too well. Once his young patients are treated, he then takes care of their closest friends – their stuffed toys.
“We go out of our way to make sure that every child feels comfortable and safe. Whether it’s stitching up their favorite toy or dressing up as their favorite character, we know how to make children feel better,” Dr. Groth explained.
The young patients wake up to discover their favorite stuffed toy sitting next to them and wearing similar bandages to their own. Repairs are sometimes needed and Dr. Groth is on hand to perform the emergency procedure on the furry companion – free of charge, of course.
When your stuffed toy is wearing bandages that are the same as yours, the desired effect is that you don’t feel so alone, your best pal knows exactly how you’re feeling.
Dr. Groth sometimes likes to be doubly sure and sends the toy to the x-ray room – you can just never tell. The children are then given the x-ray for safe keeping.
When a young girl needed an operation on her ear, Dr. Groth made sure that her toy cat’s ear was also treated.
One day, Dr. Groth even had the Cookie Monster in surgery for a – long overdue – operation on his brain. At the end of the day, his human companion also had to have the same procedure performed on her.
While Dr. Groth may have learned his trade at medical school, he has also shown that he knows how to heal the hearts of frightened children and put a smile back on their faces. And that is probably the difference between a doctor and true healer.