Special program at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital makes us proud to be from Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — At the moment a new mom leaving the NICU at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital needed a hug the most, retired NICU nurse Mary Ann Wilson was delivering her first donation of special teddy bears.

The connection between these two moms goes beyond the bear designed to offer comfort during times of pain.

“It was very sudden, and our family is still in shock and struggling to deal with this incredible loss,” said Mary Ann.

Her beautiful, young, artistically talented daughter, Katie, lost her battle with an aggressive form of melanoma in October. She was only 33.

Katie loved her family, her dog Jax and was fiercely devoted to her friends.

“I really feel like this is her, reaching out still to help other people through me and through this bear,” said Mary Ann.

When she recently found out about Comfort Cubs, weighted teddy bears that provide therapeutic and emotional relief, Mary Ann thought donating 18 of them to UPMC Magee Womens-Hospital’s NICU was the perfect way to honor Katie.

It’s the place she comforted other mothers during their time of grief as a nurse for 40 years.

“It’s not surprising that Mary Ann found a way to give back to our families after the loss of her daughter, Katie,” said Roberta Bell, a unit director at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital’s NICU.

Mary Ann even made an impact on delivery day, giving a Comfort Cub to the new mother who left the hospital with only one of her two twins.

“I can tell you from personal experience, when you’re having a day, you just feel you can’t go through another day and you just need a hug, you give this bear a hug and it just really helps so much,” said Mary Ann.

This is a first-of-its-kind donation to UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital’s NICU. They will be given to parents of NICU babies who have passed.

Mary Ann hopes to donate more Comfort Cubs in the future.

If you’d like to help out, you can donate here: https://donorbox.org/comfortcubs