Ben Meyer returns to Le Bonheur with Beanies for Babies
MADISON – Six years after he was a patient, Ben Meyer returned to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis to cheer patients with Beanies for Babies.
In 2009, eight-year-old Ben was rushed to Le Bonheur for brain tumor surgery. While easing Ben’s anxiety during surgery prep, the brain tumor coordinator stirred up conversation and learned that Ben was allergic to fire ants.
“Right before Ben was wheeled into surgery, the coordinator (returned) with a stuffed TY Beanie Ant Eater,” mother Wyndie Meyer said. “After surgery, my son’s neck was so sore, it was difficult for him to support it. Nothing helped.”
Washcloths were too thin, pillows too bulky. Luckily, the Beanie Baby offered perfect support for a small child’s neck. “Ben said it felt like he was being hugged,” Wyndie said. After care at Le Bonheur, Ben was admitted to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Ben was told at his yearly check-up last December that he was being released to St. Jude’s cured clinic,” Wyndie said.
Recently, Le Bonheur doctors contacted the Meyers about locating more Beanie Babies, proven effective to reassure children before and after surgery. “Doctors were also taking ‘babies’ to treat children in other countries who have never seen Beanies,” Wyndie said.
They Meyers held their “Beanies for Babies” drive and returned to Le Bonheur on Dec. 8 with about 1,000 Beanies. They gave the soft toys to patients and left the remainder for the coordinator to distribute. The Meyers plan to deliver Beanies several times next year.
“Le Bonheur is an unsung hero of a hospital and performs most initial and subsequent surgeries for St Jude,” Wyndie said. “Le Bonheur has won countless accolades for neurology.”
A freshman at Bob Jones High School, Ben, 14, participates in Destination Imagination, Indoor Drumline and marches with brother Mathew in the Patriot Band Drumline. Sister AshLeigh is a Birmingham attorney.
Ben parents are Patrick and Wyndie Meyer. Patrick works as an engineer at NASA and Wyndie as an aerospace auditor. The Myers own Dance Trance in Madison.