Typically, most neurosurgeons work for more than 80 hours a week. And despite their tight schedule, lack of sleep, and demanding work, Dr. P. Daniel McNeely was still able to go the extra mile for one of his precious patients. The compassionate and thoughtful gesture of the doctor warmed thousands of hearts after being shared on social media sites.
Jackson McKie, a patient of the pediatric neurosurgeon who works at IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was diagnosed with a cyst on his brain since he was an infant. Growing up, little Jackson has a chronic condition, commonly known as hydrocephalus, which caused his frequent visits to the hospital. For the brave 8-year-old boy, the stress, anxiousness, and pain caused by his condition is nothing as long as his trusted stuff toy is right by his side.
Thus when it was time to repair Jackson’s cerebral shunt through a surgery, Dr. McNeely was no longer surprised to see the young boy holding his teddy bear. What the neurosurgeon did not see coming was Jackson’s concern for his beloved teddy. Just before Jackson’s operation, the young boy asked Dr. McNeely to perform a surgery on his teddy bear as well to keep him in the best shape.
Curious about the little boy’s request, Dr.McNeely ran a diagnosis to Jackson’s beloved teddy and found out that it has a tear on its underarm. The neurosurgeon happily obliged and assured Jackson that he would tend to his teddy bear right after his surgery. The little boy went on through his operation knowing that his teddy bear would be alright after.
“I thought if there was something I could do to help make him feel better, it seemed like a simple gesture and I was only too happy to oblige.” Dr. McNeely explained during one of his interviews.
Right after Jackson’s successful operation, Dr. McNeely asked the nurses to prepare a small surgical table together with his operational tools. The neurosurgeon even placed a mask on the ‘injured’ teddy bear and used the leftover stitches from Jackson’s surgery to patch up the little boy’s ‘Little Baby.’
Rick McKie, Jackson’s father, had nothing but words of admiration for the thoughtful neurosurgeon, “He’s one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met.” Rick said, expressing his gratitude to the compassionate nature of Dr. McNeely.
Upon his return from the recovery room, Jackson was ecstatic to see his Little Baby all patched up. Just like his own surgery, the teddy bear’s own operation turned out to be successful as well- despite it being the first time of Dr. McNeely to operate on a teddy bear.
Despite the demanding nature of his work, it is moments such as this one that makes Dr.McNeely’s job fulfilling and worth the effort. The kind neurosurgeon kept memories like this one alive by taking a photo of his unusual operation, which he, later on, shared on his Twitter account.
“Patient asks if I can also fix teddy bear just before being put off to sleep…how could I say no?” The kind doctor uploaded the sweet photos along with this caption.
According to the esteemed neurosurgeon he shared his story in order to make some people smile. Thus, he was more than surprised when he realized that his tweet reached more than 16,000 of retweets in just a couple of hours.
“It’s not what I was looking for,” Dr.McNeely clarified.“I thought it might make a few people smile, that was the only intention I had. I’m glad that others are enjoying it.”
Thanks to the compassionate, kind, and selfless neurosurgeon, Jackson and his Little Baby are recovering! In a world where everyone is preoccupied with their job, it is rare to see people who generously lend their time to make someone’s day brighter. Fortunately for Jackson and his teddy bear, they were able to meet Dr. McNeely, the neurosurgeon who is more than willing to go the extra mile to paint a smile on his patient’s face.