Trauma teddies bring welcome distraction for kids in crisis

Grafton Red Cross's Trauma Teddies Co-ordinator Eva Gleeson with one of the teddies used to comfort kids going through traumatic times or illness. Photo: Terry Deefholts / The Daily Examiner
Grafton Red Cross's Trauma Teddies Co-ordinator Eva Gleeson with one of the teddies used to comfort kids going through traumatic times or illness. Photo: Terry Deefholts / The Daily Examiner Terry Deefholts

WHEN young Blake Felton's dad was bleeding from the head after a car crash on Ryan St, South Grafton in September - ambulance officers handed the traumatised boy a hand-knitted Trauma Teddy made by Red Cross volunteers.

The simple gesture made a huge difference to seven-year-old Blake, said his dad Graeme, giving him something to focus on other than the emergency at hand.

A couple of months on, Blake still holds on to his teddy and Graeme remains deeply grateful - his son's welfare through the trauma being a primary concern.

It's a story repeated often across the nation as emergency workers use the teddies to provide comfort to sick kids or kids in crisis.

The Grafton Red Cross branch, says its Trauma Teddy co-ordinator Eva Gleeson, distributes about 100 of the bears every year between ambulance, police, firefighters, dental clinics, emergency departments, children's wards and even the womens' refuge.

Members and affiliates of the Red Cross, some of them in their 80s are continually knitting the shapes before a sewing day is organised where bears are filled and finished.

The Yamba Red Cross branch also has a Trauma Teddy program running.

Ambulance NSW Clarence District Inspector Scott Acton said the bears were used across the state and were a very effective distraction for children.

"Obviously, some kids you can't console, but for most it's good," he said.

The Red Cross is always looking for more volunteers to knit and sew and is happy to provide the bears where needed.

Contact Eva Gleeson on 6642 7108.

Topics:  red cross

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