Meyer Oil Company recently donated $11,600 to the HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation to continue funding the Hugs & Cuddles Program which provides a teddy bear to children having surgery at HSHS St. Anthony’s, such as Ava Schultz Lowrance, shown sitting on her mother’s lap, Brittany Schultz of Stewardson. Also shown standing, left to right, are Randy Meyer, President of Meyer Oil Company; Jill Ruholl, HSHS St. Anthony’s Outpatient Surgery manager; Stacey Niebrugge, Surgical Services manager; and Michael Wall, Director of Philanthropy.
Like most children, Ava Schultz Lowrance of Stewardson looked nervous and uncertain of her surroundings when she was getting prepped for surgery at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. But when a nurse gave her a new furry teddy bear to help her through her surgery, her fears was calmed as she focused on her new “friend.” Brittany Schultz, Ava’s mother, shared, “Ava’s eyes really lit up and she smiled so big when the nurse handed her the teddy bear. The bear really comforted her. Ava’s first words after getting the bear were “now I have a family of bears!’”
Pediatric patients like Ava who have surgery at St. Anthony’s receive a new teddy bear through the hospital’s Hugs & Cuddles Program, a service that was started in 2012, thanks to a grant the HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation received from BP/Meyer Oil. The program provides a teddy bear to children having surgery at St. Anthony’s, to cuddle prior to their surgery and as they recover after their surgery. Each child gets to take their teddy bear home with them as well, to remind them of their bravery.
Randy and Kate Meyer, Terry and Jane Meyer, and Meyer Oil Company continue to support the program through their recent $11,600 contribution. The Meyer family has been so pleased with how many children have been helped by the Hugs & Cuddles Program over the last three years. Randy Meyer shared, “We like to make our principle donations to charities that benefit the kids. The Same Day and Procedure Suite nurses have shared very positive comments to our family regarding the children’s reaction to receiving the Teddy Bears. This can be a scary time for children as they face surgeries and medical procedures. We are pleased to continue to offer our support to the Hugs & Cuddles program,” he said. “Our company’s footprint serves the southern region of the state. We are proud to partner with HSHS St. Anthony’s as they offer their health care services to residents not just from Effingham County, but to residents from many surrounding counties, and beyond.”
Jill Ruholl, HSHS St. Anthony’s Outpatient Surgery manager, expressed her gratitude for the teddy bears and the comfort they bring children having surgery. Ruholl shared, “It is endearing to see the children cuddling the bears as they go off to surgery and as they are resting in their rooms after surgery. It is a wonderful program and we are blessed to have Meyer Oil Company contributing the funds to be able to offer this to the children we care for.”