A doctor did surgery on a boy's stuffed animal. The response from other parents was sweet.

When 9-year-old Ryan Jasen needed surgery, he wanted his best friend by his side: a stuffed Mike Wazowski of "Monsters, Inc." fame.

But while Ryan was under the knife, his surgeon, Dr. Travis Groth of the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, noticed Mike the monster wasn't exactly in tip-top shape either. He had a noticeable tear in his side from years of following Ryan everywhere.

So once Ryan's surgery was done, Mike went under Groth's knife to get a few stitches.


Check out this picture from our operating room. After performing surgery on a young boy, Dr. Groth made the extra effort...

Posted by

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Both Ryan and his stuffed animal best friend came out of the operating room as good as new.

The photo went viral after the hospital posted it to its Facebook page. Once the comments started rolling in, it became clear Groth's sweet gesture is, amazingly, a relatively common occurrence.

In fact, doctors and surgeons all over the country are learning that stuffed animal surgeries just might be the key to keeping kids calm and comfortable in the hospital.

It may be a small gesture, but it means a lot to the kids and their parents.

"When [Ryan] woke up, he saw his best buddy also kind of patched up and had bandages around him so he felt like he was on the same page with him," Tony Jasen, Ryan's father, told WTMJ Milwaukee.

Other parents like Tony eagerly took to Facebook to share their own stories of how a stuffed animal helped their child through a scary procedure.

When Holly Decker Lamb's young daughter went in for a cochlear implant, her buddy, Mr. Cat, got one too.

"When Cora came out of surgery she was happy to see that her Cat had the same bandage as she did," Lamb wrote in a Facebook message. "We then used it to tell her that she couldn’t take her bandage’s off until Mr. Cat got his off."

Mr. Cat got a bandage after cochlear implant surgery. Photo by Holly Decker Lamb, used with permission.

Dawn Marie Spencer's son was afraid of his oxygen mask. Patrick from "Spongebob Squarepants" gave him the bravery he needed.

Watching Patrick don the mask first "really calmed him down completely," wrote Spencer.

"We can never thank the staff at Children's enough for how lovingly they took care of our son and how special they made him feel."

A stuffed Patrick demonstrates how to wear an oxygen mask. Photo by Dawn Marie Spencer, used with permission.

When Tami Doyle's daughter had brain surgery, so did her Cookie Monster.

Cookie Monster had brain surgery. Photo by Tami Doyle, used with permission.

Yara Soler's daughter had surgery for her tonsils, and her purple cat joined her in recovery.

A purple cat recovers with her girl after a long procedure. Photo by Yara Soler, used with permission.

And Gina Cummings' young son braved brain surgery with Rufus the rabbit by his side.

Rufus was a brave companion during surgery. Photo by Gina Cummings, used with permission.

Hospitals and doctors offices can be frightening for many kids. Every little bit of extra comfort helps.

Whether it's fun hospital gowns or a sweet video game to make being bedridden a little more tolerable, anything that makes a hospital room more welcoming can have a powerful effect on young kids.

The doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who tend to children in their greatest time of need are already heroes, but when they go the extra mile by simply, say, wrapping some gauze around a teddy bear's head, the results are incredibly heartwarming.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.