Sadie Quinn (3 ½) and Jack de Paor (4) from Naíonra Iognáid, Galway City, bring their teddies to be treated at NUI Galway’s Teddy Bear Hospital.
For the 15th year running NUI Galway opened its doors for its award winning Teddy Bear Hospital, organised by the University’s students. The two-day event will see over 1,200 sick teddy bears admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their minders, 1,200 primary school children.
The event is organised by the Sláinte Society, NUI Galway’s health promotion society that focuses on promoting all aspects of physical and mental health. Up to 200 medical, healthcare and science students will diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help children, ranging in age from 4-8 years, feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals.
Clodagh Ryan, a third year Medical student at NUI Galway and co-auditor of Sláinte Society, said: “Every year, we strive to treat as many sick teddies from as many different schools as possible and we can’t wait to do it all over again this year! We hope to provide a fun, relaxed atmosphere so that both children and teddies can feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals.”
Over the years, children have come along with teddy bears suffering from an imaginative range of sore ears, sick tummies and all kinds of other weird and wonderful ailments.
This year, 29 local primary schools are participating in the event, equating to over 1,200 children. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children each have an individual consultation with one of the teddy doctors on call. The ‘patients’ will be examined by the doctors and will receive a ‘pawscription’ and referral to surgery or x-ray. The students will have specially designed X-ray and MRI machines on hand, should the teddy bears need them.
Recuperating teddy bears can avail of medical supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, stocked with healthy fruit from Total Produce and Fyffes, along with medical supplies sponsored by Matt O’Flaherty Chemist
After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and face painting. Sponsorship for the event comes from the Medical Protection Society.
Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway’s Societies Officer, said: “The award winning Teddy Bear Hospital is always a joy when students welcome local school children and their teddies onto campus. I would like to congratulate the Sláinte Society and their many volunteers who organise this very popular event each year.”