Doctors Perform 'Surgery' on Boy's Stuffed Animal So He Feels Less Alone About His Own Procedure

A child and his stuffed animal both get much-needed operations.

A 9-year-old boy with Down syndrome recently underwent the eighth surgery of his young life, and his best friend has never left his side.

But this last time, even his buddy needed a few stitches.

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And now Ryan, and his faithful stuffed doll from Disney’s Monsters, Inc. are both doing just fine.

Dr. Travis Groth, a urologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, noticed the Mike Wozowski toy was losing his stuffing through a ripped arm.

So the good surgeon donned his mask again, assessed his new patient, and sewed up the tear.

And Ryan’s friend was good as new — apart from the smudges and worn fabric caused by years of hugs and snuggles.

Operating on inanimate objects is just part of the hospital’s medical regimen, when it comes to treating its pint-sized patients.

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One 4-year-old recently headed to brain surgery balked at wearing a mask, so his SpongeBob doll was given one to demonstrate there was nothing to fear.

In another case, a little girl needing a cochlear implant was wheeled into surgery clutching her stuffed cat. In the recovery room, she awoke to find both had matching head bandages.

Treating their stuffed animals helps the children feel less alone, and provides comfort in situations even adults find terrifying.

"It's very common for kids to bring stuffed animals to the operating room," Dr. Groth told "When I see tears or see that animal is kind of falling apart, I tell the child and the family that I will make their toy feel better, too.

"When they recover and see their toy and it really is fixed, they have something they can relate to," he added.

"Little things are important to people. Especially kids."

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