Dr. P. Daniel McNeely is used to doing complicated surgeries as a pediatric neurosurgeon. However, he recently he had a very special type of patient that he had never treated before on his operating table.
The Canadian surgeon, who works at IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, performed surgery on a teddy bear at the request of his human 8-year-old patient, Jackson McKie, who was also undergoing a procedure that day.
Dr. McNeely was happy to oblige and took to Twitter to share some photos of himself fixing the bear’s torn arm using some stitches left over from Jackson’s surgery. People thought his gesture was super-sweet, and it has now been re-tweeted more than 16,000 times:
Patient asks if I can also fix teddy bear just before being put off to sleep… how could I say no? pic.twitter.com/WOKFc5zr91
— P. Daniel McNeely (@pdmcneely) September 30, 2018
“Patient asks if I can also fix teddy bear just before being put off to sleep…how could I say no?” he wrote.
Dr. McNeely had never tweeted before and was stunned by the massive reaction.
“It’s not what I was looking for,” he told CBC. “I just thought I might make some people smile somewhere.”
He later joked that the teddy bear wore a neonatal face mask to protect his anonymity:
Neonatal face mask – helps to preserve the teddy bear’s anonymity!
— P. Daniel McNeely (@pdmcneely) October 1, 2018
The teddy bear, who goes by the name Little Baby, has been Jackson’s companion since before he was even born. Jackson’s dad, Rick McKie, was grateful for the doctor’s willingness to indulge his son’s special request. “It made us feel better about being there,” he told CBC.
Despite Dr. McNeely’s relative inexperience with furry patients, both surgeries were successful. Jackson suffers from hydrocephalus, an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid which can cause bad headaches. He underwent a procedure to repair a shunt, which helps drain the fluid from the brain and relieve the pressure.
We’re so glad that there are awesome doctors out there like Dr.McNeely who go the extra mile to make their patients’ experiences as positive as possible. We wish both Jackson and Little Baby all the best in their continued recovery!