Even teddy bears can get hurt or be scared after a rocket or mortar attack, and it's important to know how to get help in such a situation, explained a soft and fuzzy "Doctor Teddy" at the Teddy Bear Hospital at Soroka Medical Center this month.
The event, organized jointly by the Ben Gurion University Medical Students' Association Soroka Medical Center, was geared toward empowering little children who live within firing range of Gaza terrorists.
Some 120 kindergarteners were bused to the hospital from their Gaza Belt communities, each bearing their own cuddly teddy bear. According to organizer Hila Weisblum, although each child received a teddy bear as part of the project, many chose to bring their own from home, feeling the toys were in need of "professional care."
Craft Fair or Emergency Room?
The grass concourse near the children's wing of the hospital looked like a cross between a child's crafts fair and an emergency clinic – and so it was apparently meant to appear. It was an ingenuous and non-threatening way to introduce a child to what might well be at some point a necessary experience at some point in the future.
The medical students set up different stations at which children could help the Teddy Bear doctor treat their own teddy bears. A "teddy triage" station, internal medicine department, a laboratory for blood and urine samples, a "pharmacy," radiology department and even a place to set the broken bones in a cast after the "X-rays" came back from radiology, all awaited the young visitors.
Each station was festooned with colorful balloons and equipped with bright magic markers, blood and urine collection containers filled with appropriately colored gummy candies and prescription pads as well.
Brown furry fingers waving a stethoscope at a prospective patient, a squeaky voice observed, "You need a human doctor to care for a human child, of course." Voila! "Doctor Teddy," a large, plush brown teddy bear appeared at the first station, strapped with his back to the chest of a brawny male medical student.
"Doctor Teddy" was careful, however, to use a real stethoscope to check his small patients, even as he noted squeakily, "It is only reasonable that a small teddy bear would need a Teddy Bear Doctor to check him so he won't be scared either."