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Nurses create stuffed animals with recordings of loved-ones for patients with Covid-19

Shared by Ana Ribeiro on 2020-07-08 18:50

About the solution

Michelle Vaughan is a nurse who was working in the Intensive Care Unit at the Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic. She described the experience as “incredibly scary. We’re incredibly emotionally impacted by this”. Everyday she was taking care of patients who were hospitalized and feeling isolated because they were unable to receive visits from their loved-ones. “All of us have this craving. It's human nature to want to be connected to your family, to those people who love you the most", she explained in an interview.

So together with Meagan Wright, clinical care lead nurse at the hospital, they decided to do something to help the patients and created Be There Bears. "We've always known that family is a crucial part in the care and the progression that the patients experience. But we didn't really know how much until we lost them." Maegan stated.

They called the patient’s family and asked them to send 20-second recordings with messages for their loved-ones. The messages were then transferred to small devices that the nurses sewed inside stuffed bears. With the bears by their side, the patients could hear the voice of their loved-ones whenever they wanted and feel comforted by it.

The response of the patients and their families has been extremely positive and Michelle is very happy with the results: “It’s meant the world to me. I can see that they’re connecting with their families. I can see that they’re getting a chance to feel their presence, and that has made me so happy.” And other physicians that work with the patients are also seeing the benefits on the well-being of the patients, telling Michelle that “once they play these bears, their demeanor changes, their attitude changes".

Adapted from: https://www.nbc12.com/2020/05/14/be-there-bears-bring-messages-family-co...
https://www.whsv.com/content/news/Valley-native-creates-Be-There-Bears-f...
https://www.wtvr.com/rebound/coronavirus-investigations/heartsick-icu-nu...

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Michelle Vaughan and Meagan Wright are nurses at the Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital, in Richmond, Virginia, USA. Working with patients with Covid-19, isolated from their loved-ones, they decided to create the Be There Bear initiative, through which they give the patients stuffed animals with recordings from their loved ones.

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