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Bear with a Vest

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yesterday, during our after-school snack time, Bennett found the mailman brought him a surprise...

I had heard from other CF moms online that Hill-Rom, the makers of Bennett's Cystic Fibrosis Vest,  recently created a teddy bear that had it's own Vest that they were giving out to children who owned a Hill-Rom Vest.  I decided to call and see if we could get one mailed to us.  I was delighted when they said they would do so immediately!

Bennett was really intrigued that the bear had a Vest like him.

I was so impressed with this little bear!  Not only was the bear well-made but the Vest is absolutely looks just like the real thing!

Knowing we would later use this bear to encourage Bennett to his do his Vest, I asked Bennett what he would like to name his bear.  He doesn't have much experience with naming things so he went through: "Green Lantern?" "Iceman?" "Oliver?" "Mommy?" "Bennett?"  Finally, he said, "Pumpkin?"  I said, "yes!  let's go with that!"  And so it is, bear's name is "Pumpkin" (pronounced 'punkin').

After Bennett spent time giving "Pumpkin" spontaneous hugs (Bennett is a huge stuffed animal fan), he decided he wanted the Vest off.

Trying to get it off by himself...a tad bit frustrated.

Yes! Much better (with a little help from mom).

I love this little Vest.  Check out the velcro, the black mesh inside and the official Hill-Rom tag on the straps.  It was sooo many adorable details that only a Mom of a child with CF can appreciate!

What do you do with a tiny teddy bear Vest when you finally get it off?  Turn it into a superhero glove!

I explained to Bennett that "Pumpkin" the bear has Cystic Fibrosis and will now need to do his Vest.  Bennett soaked it up.

Bennett began speaking to "Pumpkin" and asking him questions.

I explained to Bennett that "Pumpkin" is scared to do his Vest and asked if he could make him feel better.  Bennett was happy to reassure his bear that the Vest is not scary.

Bennett also explained to his bear how he does his mask without being fearful.  "Pumpkin" seemed much calmer after this chat.

Comparing Bennett's little Vest to "Pumpkin's" littler Vest:  The only thing missing from the little Vest are the tubes on the sides that are used to hook up to the Vest machine.

Bennett and "Pumpkin" model their Vests.

I love that Hill-Rom even added a tiny button on the back of the Vest.  On the real Vest, the buttons actually hold together the outer part of the vest and the inner-bladder (the part that actually blows up with air).  On the Bear's Vest, not only did they add a tiny button but they padded the back of the Vest so it sorta feels and looks like it's blown up.  Extremely cute.

Bennett and "Pumpkin" do their Vest together before bed.

Thanks to Hill-Rom, we now have an additional teaching tool and comfort to help soothe Bennett during his Vest time.  I cannot even express how thankful I am to have a toy Vest like this.  I would never be able to go to Build-A-Bear to buy this or pay someone to make this.  So, this is an invaluable gift to our family.  I look forward to "Pumpkin" joining us for Vest time for many years to come!

15 Responses to “Bear with a Vest”

  1. Adorable! Bennett is getting so big. What a cutie pie. :)

    1. I know, Teresa! He really is getting so big. He likes to the use the word "actually" in, "I wasn't in my bed, actually." I'm like, "what?!?" :) Hard to believe kids grow up so quickly - your sweet girl too!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Rachel! :) Hope you, Asher and Beck are doing well! :)

  4. This is so awesome! Looks like Bennett adores Pumpkin!

    1. Becca, he does! :) Pumpkin worked like a charm again tonight with getting Bennett to do Vest! Sweeet! :)

  5. What a wonderful tool. Our baby girl isn't on the vest yet, but we'll definitely be looking into requesting a Hill-Rom vest when the time comes.

    1. Ted, too bad this tiny Vest doesn't work! It'd probably fit Addy perfectly!! :)

  6. Thank you for posting about this! I sent your post to my sister, and that same day she called and a bear was on its way to my nephew. I just got the following email from my sister:

    Subject: Charlie's bear (named Bear)
    Body: Charlie takes very good care of him. Takes his vest off when he is "all done". Bear takes medicine,enzymes and eats really well. I put out a platter of taquitos, pizza and ranch and they ate almost all of it.

    1. Kiara, I love this!! So glad your sister and nephew were able to get "Bear". :) I am so glad that Bear and Charlie have such a healthy appetite and are taking their enzymes. This made me smile to hear this. :) What a great sister and aunt you are!!

  7. I love seeing this! My sons does not have the vest yet since he's not even 2. It's also nice to see this since your local! Most everyone I've been in contact with are in other countries! Ill be following you for sure!


    1. Hi Angie! Glad to hear you're local! If you're looking to be in contact with other CF families, there is a wonderful group called "CF Mamas" that you can join. There is also a group called, "TX Cystic Fibrosis Group" that you might enjoy. Another way to stay in contact with CF families in the states is the website Either way, thanks for following me! :) I'm glad we're connected! Hope your son is doing well!!


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