Teddies are bearing up nicely
Clean bill of health for children's furry friends
'lt provides a great opportunity for our 'teddy doctors' to explain how doctors work and show the children that hospitals are not so scary'
EVEN teddy bears can get the swine flu, you know.
Up to 1,000 of them were poorly yesterday and required attention for the dreaded H1N1 virus, sore tummies, broken arms, ear-aches and even the collywobbles.
Their anxious owners carefully carried them to the Teddy Bears Hospital in Galway yesterday and, sure enough, all left with a clean bill of health.
Among them was Luke Finnerty (7) from Kilbeacanty National School who brought along his teddy, aptly named 'Luke'.
He reported that his beloved bear had an ear complaint -- he was missing it.
Medical student Fiona Nolan, from Wicklow, provided the necessary care and attention and in jig time had a smile back on Luke's face.
Six-year-old twins Eabha and Gerard O'Riordan from Bawnmore NS in Claregalway wanted a complete check-up for their bears and Brid Galvin from Cork was on hand to ensure that all the necessary tests were carried out.
Up to 200 medical students volunteered for the special hospital at NUI Galway. They carried out a diagnosis of every complaint and recommended an X-Ray or an MRI scan.
Even Boots pharmacy was on hand to dispense healthy fruit to aid the recovery process of 'patients'.
And afterwards, there was a visit to the bouncy castle for all the teddies and, of course, their owners. The Order of Malta was also on hand, giving guided tours of an ambulance.
The hugely successful event, now in its fifth year, is organised by the Slainte Society, the NUI branch of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations.
It is aimed at eliminating any fears that children might have of going to hospital or attending a doctor or nurse.
Second year medical student Cornelia Carey, who helped organise the hospital, said: "We wanted to cater for the overwhelming number of sick teddies in Galway city and county.
"It provides a great opportunity for our 'teddy doctors' to explain how doctors work and to show the children that hospitals and medical procedures are not so scary," she said.