I would like to share a story with you about a patient who once received an OwieBowWowie while here at Northridge. Imagine you are an 8 year old girl who wakes up one morning and is not feeling well. Your throat is hurting and it is very hard for you to swallow. You tell your mom you are not feeling good and your mother takes your temperature and not only is your throat bothering you but you have a fever as well. So your mom calls your pediatrician and the next thing you know you are on your way to the doctors’ office, even though you tell your mom you do not want to go. Shortly, after arriving at the pediatricians’ office they tell you and your mom that you need to go to the hospital to receive IV antibiotics. Again, remember not only did you NOT want to go to the doctor in the first place but now you are being sent to the hospital. Imagine arriving at the hospital as this 8 year old girl scared and afraid and really not wanting to talk with or interact with anyone. After you are admitted downstairs you arrive on the pediatric floor and though it is friendly and everyone is cheerful and nice to you, you still do not want to be here. You are showed to your room and meet your nurse who asks your mom all kinds of questions, some which you do not understand and all you can think about is how you want your mom to crawl in bed with you right now and protect you. You overhear your nurse say something about getting a poke and briefly remember her telling you about a magic cream that will help take during the poke. After your nurse is finished, a group of doctors who you have never met come into the room and again start asking your mom questions, some of which she has already answered, and then they want to look in your throat and check your ears, and you do not even know these people. You begin to cry, so your mom sits down with you and explains why the doctors need to do all of these things, and because your mom asks you to you allow them but after all you want to do is crawl up with your mom. You do not want to be here and you want all these people to leave you alone!
Now enter the power of OwieBowWowie! This patient’s nurse comes out to tell me we have a new patient and she is very shy and upset about being here in the hospital. I ask if the patient needs a poke for an IV and whether the patient has received the magic cream (numbering cream). The patient’s nurse tells me yes but she is really worried about the patient’s emotional well being and is hopeful I can help. Thankfully, I remember I have a few extra OwieBowWowie’s stashed away for cases just like this.
I knock and enter the patient’s room. The mother instantly makes eye contact with me but the little girl is hesitant at first. I introduce myself and explain to both the patient and the mom what my job is here in the hospital. I begin to prep her for her IV start and while I’m talking I begin to see her eyes glancing at the box at the end of her bed. She quietly asks me what is in the box. I bring the box to her and tell her that inside is a very special friend named OwieBowWowie. I tell her the story of Owie and how someone special donor wanted to make sure that she had a friend to comfort her while she was here in the hospital. She asks if she can open the box and I tell her of course. As she begins to open the box and see’s Owie I notice tears in her mother’s eyes. As the little girl unwraps Owie and gives him a hug a smile finally crosses her face. She continues to hug Owie as we talk about what will happen while she is here in the hospital. When we are finished I provide this beautiful little girl with some art materials to have some fun while she is here. As I go to leave the patient’s room, the patient’s mother meets me outside the door, still with tears in her eyes, and says “Thank you.” The mother continues to tell me that her son recently had surgery at another hospital and while he was waiting for surgery was given a stuffed animal but someone on the staff and all she wanted for her daughter was for someone to remember that she is still a child and needed that extra dose of love.
From that day forward while this little girl was here in the hospital she never left her bedside without Owie. If she went for a walk, Owie went for a walk, when she went to CT, Owie went to CT, when she went to the playroom, Owie went to the playroom. Owie not only brought tears to her mother’s eyes, but more importantly Owie brought a smile to this little girls face. The day this little girl left our hospital she presented me with a painting of her and Owie together as a thank you.
This is just one of the amazing stories of the way OwieBowWowie has made a difference in the lives of our patients and their families. I hope this story has showed you what a difference Owie has made here in our hospital and gives you a glimpse of the difference Owie can make for children in hospitals worldwide. Someday I would love to be able to give an OwieBowWowie to every patient I have the privilege of seeing!