Weather Forecast


Girl's donation of stuffed animals will cheer Westfields child patients

Those attending the Dec. 29 presentation of toys to staff in the emergency department at Westfields Hospital & Clinic by Reagan Thompson are (front row, from the left) Sarah Kobernick, Reagan Thompson, Rylee Thompson and Jamie Hantsbarger; and (back row) Michelle Fogarty, Nabil Salama, D.O., and DJ Anderegg.


A girl who decided she wanted to pay it forward to mark her ninth birthday has helped bring comfort and joy to child patients at Westfields Hospital & Clinic.

Amery student Reagan Thompson, who was born three months premature in 2007, asked friends and family to donate new stuffed animals rather than give her a gift this birthday.

After her toy drive was complete, Reagan found she had gathered more than 250 teddies and other soft toys.

She reserved about 150 for Children's Hospital, in St. Paul, where she had spent the first few months of life, but split the remaining donations between the emergency departments at her two local hospitals—Amery Hospital & Clinic and Westfields Hospital & Clinic—visiting recently to deliver them to staff at both locations.

"Reagan hopes to make the kids there happy and hopes that all the worried parents there will see that even the tiniest of babies can grow to become beautiful, strong, smart children," said Jo Wrich, foundation director at Westfields Hospital & Clinic, and a friend of the family.

The stuffed animals will be given out to child patients or family members who attend the emergency department at Westfields.