Facebook | Fiona Allan

Woman Makes 'Tube Teddies' To Help Sick Kids Cope

A serious, chronic illness is hard enough to deal with when it rears it head by adulthood, so it's difficult to even imagine how it must feel for a child.

And yet, these conditions don't discriminate, so anybody could potentially have to live with them. So the best we can do when something like this happens is to try and make that child feel as comfortable as possible.

That's why one Scottish woman is doing her part to give kids in these special situations at least some sense of normalcy.

For 28-year-old Fiona Allan, a feeding tube was a fact of life.

Facebook | Fiona Allan

As she told the BBC, she has a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos syndrome.

This condition comes in many forms, but in Allan's case, it led to her discovering that she needed a nasal feeding tube and a surgical catheter while she spent most of 2017 in a hospital.

Needless to say, this meant she had to make some adjustments in her life.

Facebook | Fiona Allan

She said she found it hard to get used to life with "extra medical things," but she also felt for children who have similar experiences.

And by chance, she found an opportunity to help them make it through.

Allan enjoys making crafts and soon after she went through her hospital experiences, someone came to her with a special request.

Facebook | Fiona Allan

Her friend asked her to make a teddy bear for an autistic child, and when she posted the results online, she noticed more requests start coming in.

Based on the results, many of those requests likely seemed familiar to Allan.

Facebook | Fiona Allan

Many of the families she heard from had children who also needed feeding tubes and other medical add-ons to survive, so the teddy bears she made began to reflect that.

By now, Allan has made almost 20 bears for kids in need and she's had some help filling those orders.

Facebook | Fiona Allan

As the BBC reported, she's corresponded with some medical supply companies who agreed to give her some of their old tubes to keep the teddies true-to-life.

For one mom in particular, Allan's custom teddy was a massive help.

BBC | Fiona Allan

Emily Cotton has a one-year-old daughter named Darcy. This child lives with the support of three tubes and Cotton requested a bunny that fit her condition.

Once it arrived, the bunny distracted Darcy so she stopped trying to pull on her actual tubes.

As Cotton said, "The teddy has helped my daughter adapt to the medical devices she now has."

That's a common report among parents whose children have similar needs and it's big part of why Allan makes the bears.

Facebook | Fiona Allan

She said that giving the children a way to touch and pull on these tubes without causing any harm to themselves helps a lot to make their adjustment to their conditions easier.

However, it isn't just the sick kids themselves who benefit from the teddies.

As Allan told the BBC, "Sick children often have a non-sick sibling. It helps them get used to it. They can play with them, touch them and even learn what parents do to manage and clean them."

Clearly, these little bears have a big effect on the families who need them.

h/t: BBC

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