Something for Ailing Children to Call Their Own

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Persis GowSome of the best medicine for young patients at Concord Hospital does not come from a doctor. It comes from a great grandmother who uses her 65-year-old sewing machine to create smiles.

Persis Gow, of Concord, volunteers to make stuffed dolls that the Hospital gives to hospitalized children. With colorful, floppy legs and arms, hand-stitched triangle eyes and wide smiles, and embroidered hearts, the dolls are Persis’ way of telling the children that someone loves and cares about them.

“Maybe they are sore. Maybe they are hurting. Maybe they’ve lost somebody,” she said. “It gives them something to hold onto that’s theirs. It isn’t going to go away when they leave the Hospital. ”Persis, who is 90, has sewn approximately 800 dolls over the last decade or so, at first for an organization that sent them to orphanages and hospitals in war-torn countries. She has offered her in-kind donation of time and talent to Concord Hospital for three years, delivering ten dolls at a time each month.

A small table in Persis’ living room is covered with pieces of fabric. Eyes and smiles already are sewn into some. A bag of stuffing sits on the floor, next to a chair where dolls in various stages of assembly await a trip to the Hospital to meet their future owners. “They are all different,” she said. “That’s what makes them fun and creative for me. I enjoy doing it and I enjoy thinking about the children who are going to enjoy them. I don’t know who benefits most.”

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