String teddies help to provide vital aid to children and staff
Specially-made teddies are providing a vital aid for children and staff at the West Suffolk Hospital.
For they are being used to help carry out x-ray examinations on young patients.
Sandra Scott, Jess Young, Pam Whybrew and Jean Howlett, all members of the Dalham and Gazeley WI, made the teddies.
It came after Ed Kirkham, a paediatric radiologist at the hospital in Bury St Edmunds and who lives in Gazeley, spoke to the group about his work at the hospital.
He said: “When we undertake paediatric x-ray examinations there are times parents have to stand away from the child, often behind a screen. These examinations can be distressing and scary for the patient.
“Our magic string teddies have a length of string attached. The child holds the teddy and the parent can hold the other end from behind the screen, creating a psychological link that children find reassuring and calming.
“This means our paediatric patients are more co-operative and ultimately can lead to better images and lower radiation doses.
“Because the teddies are single use, the child gets to keep the teddy afterwards and they have proven a big hit, both with staff and patients.”
Debbie Saldana, the President of the WI group, said between 23 and 24 teddies had been specially knitted by the four members and handed over to the hospital.
“Ed approached us to come up with a way to relax the young patients when they are scanned,” said Debbie.
“The WI ladies found a pattern and we handed them (the teddies) over to Ed and they are using them with great success.
“Because of the radiation the parents have to be outside the scanning unit and they have one end of the ribbon attached to the teddy and as soon as the scan is finished the ribbon is discarded and the patient can keep the teddy.
“We were glad that we were able to help out Ed and the hospital.”
Sue Smith, Head of Fundraising for My WiSH Charity said “What an innovative idea these string teddies are! They will make such a difference psychologically to our young patients and we are incredibly grateful to the WI for providing them.”
Written by Russell Cook
Pictured paediatric radiologist Ed Kirkham with Jessica Young and Sandra Scott.