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Paws for thought

Date published

15 Feb 2021

Sometimes the idea of an emergency flight with the Royal Flying Doctor Service can be too much to bear.

You might just be a few months old, in need of life-saving surgery interstate.

Or an expecting mum being flown from an outback community to a city hospital for the early delivery of her baby.

But one thing these two patients, and many more over the years, have in common is in their hands they have a gift from Adelaide's Pembroke School in the shape of a hand-stitched teddy bear.

The Pembroke Bear Making Program has been running since 1987, and over that time students have made more than 2400 bears for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to hand out to patients - children and adults alike - who need a little extra comfort during what can be a worrying time.

The school recently delivered its latest hug of bears (yes, that is what a group of Teddy Bears is called) to the RFDS and the students have been assured the bears will be called into action just as soon as they are needed.

RFDS Community Fundraising Specialist Kristen Newlyn said flight crews often shared lovely stories about patients who had received a Pembroke Bear.

"A lot of patients are having a really tough time, so to get an unexpected gift during their flight - it's a positive part of the experience."