A doctor’s steady hands and expert sewing skills can come in handy for many things – including mending stuffed animals. Case in point, a photo of Dr. Travis Groth, a urologist at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in the U.S., which shows him sewing up one of his patient’s beloved plush toy, has gone viral.
Nine-year-old Ryan Jasen was at the hospital for an operation to be performed by Dr. Groth. Ryan, who has Down syndrome, has several health issues that have already caused him eight surgeries so far. Accompanying him for his ninth is his constant companion “Mike Wozowski,” a stuffed toy of the character from Monsters Inc. “Ryan has probably a thousand stuffed animals, but this one is his favorite,” Tony Jasen, Ryan's dad, told TMJ4, the local news station of Wisconsin.
As we know from reading The Velveteen Rabbit, being a child’s best friend can often wear out a toy. The doctor had noticed Mike needed a little mending.
“He saw the tear and said 'you know what, I can tell this is his best friend so I'm going to patch him up too,'” said Tony.
Dr. Groth said he used the same instruments he normally uses during surgery to sew up the broken arm. He even wore his “surgical loops” (which are the magnifying glasses seen in the photo).
So, when Ryan woke up from his operation, his friend Mike was also bandaged and on his way to healing. “Our doctors, nurses, and staff go out of their way to make sure every child feels comfortable and safe,” wrote the hospital on the viral Facebook post.
And, if you’re wondering how the pair is doing, there’s no need to worry. “Both Ryan and Mike are recovering well at home,” a spokesperson from the hospital told People.
Apparently, this isn’t the first stuffed animal operation Dr. Groth has done either. A comment on the post from mom, Kate Kaddatz, reads, “Oh my goodness! It must have been him who stitched up my son's pillow pet monkey while we were there to see Dr. Groth last month!
“He went in with duct tape on him (because the stuffing was falling out and this mama doesn't know how to sew!). I noticed when we got home that the monkey was stitched up!” she wrote.
There are also quite a few commenters praising Dr. Groth. “My daughter absolutely LOVES Dr. Groth! She has seen him since she was 3 and she is 11 now. There have been many procedures and surgeries, and he always makes sure she feels safe,” says Brandi Nelson.
One parent, Jennifer Drost, even said the story was a perfect profile of the doctor. “He is our son's doctor and we all love him. He is so good with kids AND parents. Not surprised at all to read this story, truly a good man with a HUGE heart!”
“Dr. Groth is wonderful and a true blessing to his patients and their families! My daughter had a kidney stone earlier this year. She was scared and we were too - he explained everything so well and put us at ease,” wrote Anna Sturino Fuhr. “I hope he reads these posts and knows how the positive effect he has on his patients' lives.”
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We need more people like you in this world, Dr. Groth!