Teddy bear drive helps siblings of pediatric patients

Siblings of pediatric patients at Gundersen Health System were surprised with teddy bears Wednesday.

The bears were donated as part of an annual teddy bear drive for a syndrome known as OMS.

They will be distributed to three different hospitals in the area.

The drive is made possible by Meghan Cota and Chloe Bruland, who both have lived through the disorder

Nurses at the hospital say the bears act as a distraction for siblings while their brother or sister is being cared for.

“It kind of brightens their day, gives them something to focus on. It kind of takes their mind off of what’s going on with their sibling, if they’ve been injured or sick, they get a little scared, it gives them something to hold on to,” said RN, Kimberlee Kirste.

Thanks to community support, more than 400 bears were given away.