On a personal level and a professional level I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE...did I mention LOVE? Healing Helpers! Lani-Lee and Michael and all their precious children have become so near and dear to me over the last year and some it isn't funny.
The idea of using stuffed animals, which ever child has at least one they MUST drag with them everywhere they go, or at least have for naps and bedtime and turning them into a teaching tool for special needs and medically complex children is fantastic! They are practical, functional and beyond all else really help show your child (when and how they can understand) what they have been through in life. This is my son and his Healing Helper piggie (that he calls Piggie or Oinker depending on his mood I suppose). David was the first kiddo to receive one with an Autism heart - because that is his diagnosis and what he battles everyday, he has had surgery and leg braces, but this is what mattered most to me - his heart...the soul of who he is. His diagnosis does not define him, rather he defines it and it helps make him the special little-big man that he is! David loves his piggie and enjoys showing the heart off to others, showing his name and the Thomas the Train pouch inside it (he loves Thomas the Train too) and just snuggling with it at night. It has become his friend when he is hurt or we have to go to specialist we haven't been too before.
Now professionally - we have teamed up with Healing Helpers in making smaller "animal sized" hospital gowns. These are ordered through Healing Helpers when someone orders one or just orders the gown if they already have one. This was the first Healing Helpers gown and of course was made for precious Annabelle when she had her most recent open heart surgery. It matched the gown that we made for Annabelle to wear. Since then we have made some others - and have a couple more to make as well. So I am just going to share some of the picture that they've posted of the gowns with and without their Healing Helpers.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/healinghelpers
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/healinghelpers
They also accept donations of materials, like new or new stuffed animals and monetary donations as well. They have a sponsorship program too and are looking to do so many more great things in the future with Healing Helpers!
So stop by and see how you can help them out too! That is how I first was connected with them was through donating stuffed animals and fabric scraps from gowns and other projects to be used for their pouches!