Publish date: 11 February 2022

Local business owner, Shaun Ryan of Protive Security and Surveillance Ltd, recently sponsored the purchase of 50 recordable teddy bears to give to patients and their loved ones at Warrington Hospital.

These special teddies allow those in particularly special circumstances, such as patients in palliative or intensive care, to listen to pre-recorded messages from their friends and families who have not been able to visit them in hospital due to COVID-19 restrictions.

One teddy was given to the daughter of an organ donor after she sadly passed away. The ICU team suggested that they record her mum’s heartbeat on one of the teddies and, with the help of a bedside ultrasound of her heart, the patient’s heartbeat was recorded and teddy presented to her daughter to keep.

Another 20 of the teddies were gifted to patients in Warrington Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The teddies were for all patients on the unit, both awake and on ventilators, as medics say that patients can still hear us when they are ventilated. In such cases, staff held the teddies to the patients ears and played the recordings a few times.

“There were a lot of happy tears from patients as they longed to hear the voices of their loved ones. It was something they can keep and cherish forever,” said Anna Bruen, ICU Ward Clerk.

Carla Preston, ICU Senior Sister, said: “It was an emotional one, but an emotion that created a new strength of courage with patients expressing their determination to recover – to give it their all in working with the teams of WHH, with the aim to get back home. Patients and their loved ones expressed their gratitude and those teddies created a connection that brought great comfort to all,” she concluded.

Shault felt compelled to sponsor the purchase of the teddies in memory of his wife, Samantha, who passed away last year of cancer. She had previously received emergency care from the staff at Warrington Hospital and Shaun wanted to do something to give back. His sister is also a midwife at the hospital.

He expressed that he was “overwhelmed” to hear how these teddies have impacted patients and their families and that he is “proud to be able to help.”

He became aware of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals’ Charity (WHH Charity) at his local Business Networking International (BNI) meetings, where the charity’s fundraising manager, Helen Higginson, would come in and talk to them about all of the work that the charity was doing.

Helen said: “WHH Charity staff work really hard to continue providing additional comforts, care, experiences for our patients, so when we find ourselves in the fortunate position where a donor can hear just how their support has impacted our patients, it truly is heart-warming for all involved.”