Canadian surgeon sews up favoured teddy bear after boy’s operation

Eight-year-old Jackson McKie — who he’s looked after since he was an infant — brought a stuffed toy to the operating room with him last Thursday

A Halifax neurosurgeon has performed a career first, after a young patient asked him to stitch up a beloved teddy bear while the boy recovered from surgery.

Like many of Dr. Daniel McNeely’s patients, eight-year-old Jackson McKie — who he’s looked after since he was an infant — brought a stuffed toy to the operating room with him last Thursday.

McKie, who lives with his family in Summerside, P.E.I., has a cyst on his brain and a chronic condition called hydrocephalus.

McNeely said he couldn’t say no when the boy asked him to fix a tear in his fluffy friend before the operation.

“I thought if there was something I could do to help make him feel better, it seemed like a simple gesture and I was only too happy to oblige,” McNeely said Tuesday.

The doctor asked the nurses to prepare a small table with some tools, and he used leftover stitches from McKie’s procedure to patch up the bear, Little Baby.

A medical resident at Halifax’s IWK Health Centre snapped a photo of the heartwarming moment.

READ MORE: Find a surgeon online with new Fraser Health website

“He’s one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met,” Jackson’s father, Rick McKie, said of McNeely on Tuesday.

He said the boy was “tickled pink” when he woke up to see his favourite toy that he sleeps with every night, and he’s printing a photo of the bear’s surgery to frame in his room.

Little Baby’s operation was McNeely’s first on a toy — and he decided to share the photos as his first-ever tweet.

McNeely posted the photos to his Twitter feed (at)pdmcneely, writing “Patient asks if I can also fix teddy bear just before being put off to sleep … how could I say no?”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the tweet had been retweeted more than 6,600 times, liked 14,000 times and had garnered more than 210 responses from people around the world, including his former residents, commenting on the kind gesture.

“I thought it might make a few people smile, that was the only intention I had,” said McNeely. “I’m glad that others are enjoying it.”

McNeely was happy to reunite the boy with his stuffed animal, and said the small gesture was one example of how health care providers can care for and comfort their patients in non-medical ways.

Rick McKie said Little Baby is always by Jackson’s side, especially when he’s in pain, and he has appreciated McNeely’s care as a physician during the family’s many visits to IWK.

“When we get there we’re terrified to death, but every time we talk to Dr. McNeely we feel better,” said McKie.

The operation was to re-open a shunt required by the boy’s condition, to drain excess fluid putting pressure on his brain.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Reimbursement issue discussed at County of Wetaskiwin council

Options for expanding reimbursement will return at future County of Wetaskiwin meeting

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

Federal election saw 66% of registered voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

Mike Lake wins Edmonton-Wetaskiwin in landslide victory

Edmonton-Wetaskiwin incumbent led all night, wins in landslide majority

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

PODCAST: Political Scientist Marc Froese discusses the results of the Federal Election

Western alienation, results, minority governments and more highlight this week’s The Expert podcast

Husky Energy lays off staff to align with lower spending plans and strategy

Company had 5,157 permanent employees at end of 2018, according to regulatory filing

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Opposition to Trans Mountain won’t change, B.C. minister says

Pipeline projects proceed under minority Trudeau government

Alleged RCMP secret leaker must stay with B.C. parents while on bail

Cameron Ortis, 47, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

Most Read