“She works, can I keep her?”

Every therapy visit we make is different but they all involve meaningful interactions between Winnie and the patient. The hospital can be a very stressful environment so Winnie is not only a welcomed distraction to patients, but also to the parents and siblings who are with them. One of my favorite memories is from a visit we made to the pediatric intensive care unit one night after work. One of the nurses on the floor asked me to visit one of her patients who she said was feeling scared about going into surgery. I knocked on his door, popped my head in his room and asked if he would like a therapy visit with Winnie. He didn’t look at me but I heard him whisper, “Why? What’s she for?” “She’s here to make you feel better,” I told him. He turned towards me as I approached and placed Winnie on his bed. He set aside the Nina turtle doll that he was hugging and Winnie immediately cuddled up in his arms and took its place. After several minutes of silence, he looked at me and said, “She works, can I keep her?”

Story provided by Casaundra Maimone