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Rag Dolls Make a Difference All Around the World

On Wednesday evening, March 22, 2017, pediatric cardiac surgeon Dr. Aubyn Marath visited the LOUMC dollmakers. Dr. Marath is the founder and president of CardioStart International (, an international charity organization dedicated to the treatment of cardiovascular disease in poor and middle-income countries where healthcare is marginal and supplies are minimal. While in a hospital in the Dominican Republic, Dr. Marath saw a child who was recovering from surgery cuddling a soft rag doll. Besides being a toy for the child, he realized the doll went a long way toward a speedy recovery.
When he discovered the doll was made in Lake Oswego (he is a former LO resident), he wanted to obtain more dolls for their practice, as well as to meet the ladies who make them.
During his visit, Dr. Marath explained why the dolls were important to the recovery, especially for pediatric cardiac patients. He said that postoperative children are reluctant to relieve pulmonary congestion by coughing; it’s uncomfortable and there’s the child’s fear of undoing the sutures. Yet coughing reduces the risk of fluid buildup in the lungs which can lead to pneumonia. A soft rag doll
held against the chest helps relieve the pain and anxiety, and it also provides a much appreciated toy/companion. A child tends to focus on the doll and not so much on the discomfort of recovery.
Our Craft Group continues to make Rag Dolls 2 Love – to date we’ve made and delivered nearly 7000 worldwide – and look forward to continuing to supply them to CardioStart as well as other places where they’re needed.
Dr. Marath also said they could use stuffed heart-shaped pillows for the same purpose for more mature
patients. We’ve already begun making them!

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