AN OVERJOYED care home resident has been reunited with a childhood treasure after more than 60 years apart.
Elizabeth Briggs, 76, was brought back together with the teddy bear that accompanied her through pioneering heart surgery when she was five-years-old.
Now living at Aden Court Care Home, in Moldgreen, Huddersfield, her bear had been found during the clearance of her family home, in Enfield, London.
Elizabeth was originally given the bear, which she named George, by her grandmother when she was admitted to Great Ormand Street Hospital in 1947.
Mumma Gu, as her grandmother was called, purchased the bear at a church sale and he remained with Elizabeth throughout her six week stay at the hospital.
She was admitted for an operation to repair a duct in her heart, as she was born with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), causing problems with blood flow through her aorta.
Specialists from America came to Great Ormand Street Hospital to carry out the surgery, which was one of the first of its kind.
Elizabeth said: “It was quite scary when I was five-years-old and George helped me through it all. He had every bandage, bedpan and injection that I also had when in hospital. The nurses and doctors got him a small bedpan too.”
Elizabeth remained in her family home her entire life and, sometime in the past, George got packed away and she thought she had lost him.
After suffering a stroke, she moved to Huddersfield to be closer to her brother, Trevor Briggs, so he could help care for her.
She moved into Aden Court Care Home in January 2019 and Trevor went to clear out Elizabeth’s home in London – when he found George in the attic.
After returning George to Elizabeth, she said: “I am so happy to have him back and now he can help me recover again like he did all those years ago.”
Lisa Boyd, home manager at Aden Court Care Home, said: “Elizabeth was overjoyed to be reunited with her bear, George.
“We believe it’s so important for residents to bring their personal belongings and treasures with them when they move in and we encourage them to personalise their rooms and make them feel like home.
“Elizabeth hasn’t been with us very long but she’s already so settled and George was the icing on the cake for her. He has pride of place in her room and we’re sure he will provide comfort as she continues her recovery from her stroke.”