Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Special Project

A year ago today, Andrew had surgery. It wasn't for anything major - just a corrective procedure he needed done. We saw Dr. Wallis at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake weeks previous and he was fabulous. He was going to do a routine procedure, yet I fretted and worried - like all mothers. I mostly worried about Andrew - How to you explain surgery to a three year old? How would he react when he had to leave me and go with the doctors? He was still having a hard time going to nursery on his own!! How would he do in surgery? How would his recovery be? I talked with him a lot about what was going to happen, but I stressed and worried and prayed - mainly that this would be a good experience for Andrew and that he would have some sort of understanding of what was going on and that he would have the Holy Ghost with him to help him feel safe and comforted.

The day came and Andrew and I headed to the Primary Children's Hospital in Riverton. And my prayers were answered that day through the wonderful doctors and nurses there. They were amazing. Their first priority was my child - they knew just what to do to be Andrew's best friend; and therefore my best friend. We saw many people that day and as they approached us, they would talk to Andrew first - then me. We felt so comfortable and when the time came for Andrew to go into the operating room with the doctors, he hopped in their wagon and waved goodbye with a "See ya, mom!"

One of my favorite things was a little Medical Doll they gave Andrew. It was a flesh colored doll with no face, dressed in a hospital gown (like what Andrew was wearing). The nurses used the doll and their box of surgery tools to show Andrew what they were going to do to him when he went into surgery and get him familiar with the instruments he would see in the operating room. Andrew could then take his doll and draw a face and hair and color it however he wanted. He named it Andrew and was attached to it so quickly - he even took the doll into surgery with him.

When we left the hospital that day, I left with such a testimony that the Lord does hear and answer our prayers and for a deep gratitude for the wonderful people at Primary Children's who made this experience something I will never forget. And since then, I have wanted to give something back.

So I'm starting medical doll drive. And after talking with the donation contact person, she said the things they need most are pajamas pants and underwear in sizes 2 to young adult, so I'm adding them to the drive, too. I am going to be in Salt Lake on June 17th, so the drive will last for the next five months. The patterns for the surgery doll and its gown are here and here and here and here. The instructions for the doll are on the top pattern page. You will need to cut and tape the two medical doll patterns together. To ensure patterns print at the correct size, please set your printer settings to "None" under "Page Scaling." The gown can be made of cotton. I don't have a pajama pants pattern yet, but here is a pajama pants tutorial using a child's pants as a pattern. Then it can be enlarged or shrunk to fit various sizes. The pants can be made from fleece, flannel or cotton with a elastic or drawstring waist. And a package of underwear bought at every or every other visit from Walmart will pile up fast (I don't know about you, but I'm there more than enough).

Don't have the time or know-how to sew? Provide the materials and I will happily do the work. As you finish your dolls and/or pajama pants and collect underwear, please send them to me by June 15th so I can make one huge donation to Primary Children's.

I've had this project on my brain for a very long time and I'm so excited to finally put it into action! And I would appreciate any help in passing the word along. My goal is to make 25 medical dolls, 10 pair of pajamas and collect one package of underwear for every size. I hope I can count on your help as well!  Please contact me if you have any questions or comments!


Amanda said...

I love it Steph! I've been looking for somewhere to volunteer my time recently. I'd love to help. I have a couple questions but I'll e-mail you. I just got my sewing machine out of storage, so I'll get busy this week! Thanks for extending the invitation to help.

Arizona Nielsens said...

I'm in. My pattern is printed, but I'll have to collect some supplies before I can get started. Does the hospital gown need to be in certain colors/patterns? I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but I'm excited.

Myrna said...

I'm in!! What a great way to give back to those that have paid it forward!! I'm happy to do whatever, I will be back in Utah sometime this month, and will get in contact with you and see where I can best help. Great project Steph and thanks for inviting me to participate!!

Diane said...

Awesome! I'll make up some pajama pants. Does it matter what kind of fabric? Does it have to be fleece or flannel? Can it be cotton? I'll send you a package soon.

Also, I hope Zach has a great day tomorrow. Did the birthday card arrive in the mail on time? I hope so.

Love ya. Take care!

gmalow said...

I know this project is already done,but would there be an opportunity to do some more?