Dr. Travis Groth, a pediatric urologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has a big job. For him, caring for children goes far beyond performing surgery on them. While many doctors consider their job done when the patient’s medical needs are taken care of, Dr. Groth does not. He takes it a step further to ensure that the children under his care are healing emotionally as well.
Oftentimes children bring their stuffed animals with them when they go to the doctor. Surgeries and hospitals can be very scary and stressful for kids, and their toys can help them handle what is happening to them. But sometimes those fake furry friends have boo boos as well, and Dr. Groth makes sure that they get the mending they so desperately need.
The Huffington Post elaborates:
After operating on a 9-year-old boy, Groth performed surgery on the child’s stuffed Mike Wazowski, which he brought to the operating room for comfort and stress relief. Mike needed a little stitching up, and the doctor was more than happy to help him out.
“I noticed that it had some tear and rips to one of the arms, so I fixed it for him,” Groth told hospital communications specialist Evan Solochek in an interview shared with The Huffington Post.
When the little boy saw his Mike toy again, it “really brightened up his day,” his parents told the doctor.
What is so wonderful about Dr. Groth (dubbed the real life “Doc McStuffins”) is that he doesn’t just fix up tattered, old toys. When children see that their “best friends” have gone through something similar—a surgery, with stitches and all—they feel more comforted and less alone throughout the ordeal. That is a huge help in their healing process.
Groth was surprised by all the attention he received after the hospital posted his photo on Facebook. He emphasized that so many other pediatric surgeons do similar things for their young patients and their stuffed sidekicks.
“We just know the importance of trying to relate to children and doing little things like this,” he said. “People will put surgical masks on toys. It just helps the families and the children.”
The Facebook page for Children’s Hospital has some other wonderful photos of children healing with their recently fixed stuffed animals. Here are a few that will warm your heart:
Check out this picture from our operating room. After performing surgery on a young boy, Dr. Groth made the extra effort…