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

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Senior girls Lakers drown Eckville in exhibition game

H.J. Cody’s senior girls basketball team defeated the senior girls Aces 60-30 on Feb. 21

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Sylvan Lake fiddler says performing at Canada Games an amazing experience

Brianna Lizotte performed with three drummers during a segment of the Opening Ceremonies

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read