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|Local Family Donates over 200 Stuffed Animals in Son’s Memory to Calais Regional
Emergency Room Nurses (l to r) Angela Olsson, Barbara Clark and Diana Howell pose with the stuffed animals donated by the Weston family to the CRH Emergency Department.
|A visit to the emergency room can be a pretty scary event, especially for a child. In times of extreme stress or traumatic events, CRH emergency staff sometimes presents our littlest patients with a stuffed animal to ease their fears and offer comfort. With supplies low, ED Registered Nurse, Diana Howell, spearheaded efforts to begin a teddy bear drive to replenish the stock of stuffed animals. Notices were distributed around the hospital and included in the February issue of the CRH Community Newsletter. |
Reading the article, Eastport resident Lindy Weston, thought of her son Evan, who had died in 2005 at the age of two. “I thought this would be a nice thing to do and make me feel really good,” explained Mrs. Weston. “It would help to know I was helping other kids and give me something to focus on this year with the anniversary of Evan’s death approaching.” In March 2005, Lindy & Heron Weston’s son Evan was a patient in the Calais Regional Emergency Department. He was eventually lifeflighted to EMMC where he passed away the following day. However, the care, concern and quick treatment action of CRH staff did not go unnoticed or unappreciated by his parents. Mrs. Weston recalled that no time was wasted and all the CRH staff were very professional and took good care of them. “We think everyone did everything they could.” While at EMMC the nurses placed a teddy bear in Evan’s arms. “I don’t know if he realized he had the bear to hold, but it made me feel better to see him holding the bear,” recalls Mrs. Weston. “Which is why this project struck a cord – it all seemed to fit together.”
After deciding she would like to take part in the teddy bear drive, Mrs. Weston emailed a few friends and family about what she was going to do and it just took off from there. “I think this helped other people feel like they were doing something for us and feel like they were honoring Evan,” said Mrs. Weston. Over the last two weeks the Westons received over 200 stuffed animals to donate in memory of Evan. On March 13, the anniversary of Evan’s death, Lindy, Heron and new baby brother Kieran, brought the stuffed animals to the ED.
Mrs. Weston explained, “It was bittersweet to see the staff again, but nice to be able to thank them and honor Evan this way. I can picture a lot of little kids hugging those bears and that makes me feel really good.” The teddy bear drive was a way to honor her son’s memory and help the CRH Emergency Department all at the same time. The Weston family’s experience and familiarity with staff at the Emergency Department was not one that had a happy ending. However, once again – without even realizing it, the emergency staff has helped the Weston family through a difficult time. Mrs. Weston concludes, “Taking part in the teddy bear drive was a concrete way that I could do something that makes a difference for someone and therefore Evan still makes a difference.”