Tonganoxie — Children preparing for surgery at Kansas University Hospital soon will have a companion.
Spouses of members of the Henri Masonic Lodge No. 190 in Tonganoxie assembled 32 muslin dolls stuffed with a poly-fiber fill that will be given to young patients at the Kansas City, Kan., hospital.
The medical dolls are not decorated, so doctors can use the dolls to explain the surgery. Or patients could draw on the dolls.
“Very plain and simple,” said Virginia Siecgrist, one of those who assembled the dolls. “Looks like a gingerbread doll.”
Siecgrist had the idea to make the dolls after seeing similar dolls at a Central States Shrine Association Legion of Honor meeting in Colorado Springs. Those dolls were going to Shrine hospitals, Siecgrist said.
She talked with Mary Landis, a registered nurse who has worked at KU Hospital for 30 years and is the nurse liaison for the operating room. The project grew from there.
Landis said the hospital has received similar dolls in the past, but they’ve always been hand-me-downs from other departments.
“We don’t have anything in the operating room,” Landis said. “This would be such a treat for the operating room.”
The group met once a month in the span of three months putting the dolls together.
“We did a lot in three meetings,” Landis said.
“But we had a lot of good help,” said Jo Kinzie, another group member.
Landis said KU Hospital averages about 20 children’s surgeries a month, so the group will continue to make dolls to help meet that number.