Dolls for donation

Katie McKenzie (ED of Nursing), Max and Kelly Moss with a stoma doll
Executive Director of Nursing, Katie McKenzie with stoma doll recipient Max and Kelly Moss
January 25, 2019

PCH recently received a donation of a number of stoma dolls from Kelly Moss. Kelly has a history of complex bowel issues from a very young age and consequently has a permanent stoma formed. Her personal health experience was quite traumatic and she has great empathy for young people who have to undergo stoma formation. She has set about helping fellow ostomies in whatever way she can. One way is by donating stoma dolls to PCH for the children who undergo stoma surgery. 

A stoma is a surgically formed opening to the digestive or urinary system to drain contents. It is formed for a number of conditions and can be either temporary or permanent. It is known as an ileostomy, colostomy, or  vesicostomy depending on the site in question.

Adjusting to having a stoma can be quite a difficult time for the patient and close family. A number of educational resources are used to explain the procedure and how to manage a stoma once formed.

The stoma doll is a handmade and is developed to make the transition to having a stoma a little easier for a child:

  • who isundergoing stoma formation 
  • whose sibling is having a stoma formed
  • whose parent or other significant relative/carer is having a stoma formed.

Kelly raised the funds to purchase the dolls and two teddy bears from the UK via a GoFundeMe campaign. The teddy bears are used for education with the children at the hospital and the dolls are gifted to them.

The children are so delighted to have the little dolls and it makes it easier for them to explain their stoma ‘bag’ to friends and family. The parent of a recent recipient commented, “It helped Max and myself explain, discuss and show what a stoma is, where it is and how the stoma bag worked. Having the stoma doll initially helped open up communication honestly and freely amongst friends and family." 

"It also seemed to comfort me, in the sense that there was a doll that referenced how Max's body had changed and that he wasn't alone, he wasn't the only one and that life still carried on!", she said.

The Stomal and Wound Therapy Management department is grateful to Kelly for her kind donation and a number of the dolls have been given to PCH in the last six months.