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Neurosurgeon Stitches up Stuffed Bear at Young Patient’s Request

David Finch, Oakland, Oregon; source: Allison Klein, “Neurosurgeon stitches up stuffed bear at young patient’s request: 'How could I say no?’” Washington Post (10-4-18)

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Neurosurgeon Stitches up Stuffed Bear at Young Patient’s Request

Daniel McNeely is a pediatric neurosurgeon in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so he’s used to fielding questions from nervous parents and patients. But it was a first for him when an 8-year-old patient had a specific request as the child was being wheeled to surgery while clutching his stuffed animal: “My bear is ripped. Please stitch him up.”

The boy, identified as Jackson McKie, has a cyst on his brain and a chronic condition called hydrocephalus, according to Global News. The surgery was to drain fluid and relieve pressure on his brain.

McNeely assured the boy he would, and he took the task seriously. After McNeely performed surgery on the boy’s brain, he placed the bear on a table, put on blue gloves and used leftover stitches from the child’s surgery to repair an underarm tear on the bear.

Then in another first, McNeely — who had never tweeted before — went on Twitter Sunday to post a photo of the moment that had been captured by a resident. He wrote, “Patient asks if I can also fix teddy bear just before being put off to sleep... how could I say no?”

“He’s one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met,” Jackson’s father, Rick McKie, said of McNeely. McKie said his son was thrilled when he woke up to see his stuffed buddy, which he takes with him everywhere he goes, had been stitched up just like him. McKie said that his family deeply appreciates McNeely’s medical care over the years, as well as his human touch. “When we get there we’re terrified to death, but every time we talk to Dr. McNeely we feel better.”

Possible Preaching Angles: 1) Gentleness; Good Shepherd; Humanity of Christ - Jesus was tender and gentle with children, as well as the weak and fearful. In our deepest need, he puts our mind at rest with his personal attention. 2) Renewal; Restoration—Christ not only forgives our sins, he also restores our lives by stitching up our brokenness.

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