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Close knit helpers bring comfort to young trauma victims.

CHILDREN taken to hospital by ambulance will be given trauma teddies knitted by a group of women in Burry Port.

The St Mary's Church and Pwll knit and natter groups have made more than 60 teddies in just eight weeks to help put young patients at ease as they are taken to hospital.

The idea came from St Mary's group founder Caroline Saunders when her six-year-old daughter Rachel was rushed to hospital suffering from a high temperature.

She said: "Rachel had tonsillitis and developed a really high fever. We rang NHS Direct and they advised getting an ambulance straight away.

"Rachel was really frightened, terrified in fact, but the ambulance technician handed her a trauma teddy that they carried on the ambulance and that really helped calm her.

"The vicar's young son, Gwilym Davies, also had to go in an ambulance recently and he too was helped by being able to cuddle a trauma teddy. So, everyone at the knit and natter group decided we could make a difference by knitting a few more teddies so every ambulance could carry one on board."

Richard Ashby, clinical team leader at Llanelli ambulance station, said: "It is useful to carry soft toys in ambulances as they can be used to help calm distressed children and make the experience a less frightening one.

"They can also be used as a diagnostic tool, if a child is reluctant to talk about their injuries or pain you can ask them to show you on teddy.

"And teddy can also be used to demonstrate any equipment to be used. If you can help distract a child this can help lessen their symptoms or pain."

CAPTION(S):

SUPPORT: The Rev Paul Davies and Caroline Saunders and the other members of the St Mary's knit and natter group with six-year-old Rachel Saunders and Welsh Ambulance Service staff, from left, Richard Ashby, clinical team leader, Llanelli; paramedic Glyn Aston and Wai-Lim Tang, a first year paramedic student at Swansea University
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 10, 2010
Words:331
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