LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — At Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the staff goes beyond just taking medical care of your child – they also work to make them feel loved and at ease during a difficult time. One way they do that is through the Faithful Friends program, where they give every child a book and stuffed animal to comfort them.
“I decided to write a book that told a story of what I wanted to portray to the kids and families of what the stuffed animal meant,” Brent Fairchild, ACH Director of Pastoral Care
Brent Fairchild is the Director of Pastoral Care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He wrote the book about a bunny in a gift shop that no one wants to buy. When it’s finally chosen, it comforts a sick child.
“It gives the child an opportunity to have something that is theirs,” Fairchild said.
Volunteers give the book and a stuffed animal to every child in the hospital, and they see the impact it makes every day.
“Kids have become so attached to this animal. It’s brings comfort when they’re at home, and they bring it back to the hospital so they have the faithful friend that goes back with them,” Fairchild said.
And sometimes doctors and nurses use the stuffed animal to show kids what they’ll be going through.
“We’ve seen surgery on the child and then a similar surgery on the stuffed animal,” said Fairchild.
Over the past few months, Mallory Brooks’ one-year-old son Bowen has spent time at Children’s Hospital, and when a volunteer brought the gift to their room, it meant so much to them. She says the stuffed animal remains one of his favorite toys at home, and is a keepsake for their family.
The Faithful Friends program at Children’s Hospital is run through the pastoral care program. If your church would like to donate or sign up for a prayer list to pray for patients and families you can email Brent Fairchild at Pastoralcare@archildrens.org