Vas Alli gave a Christmas present to Jessica Crawford in 2012 that was pretty special: an engagement ring. It was hard to beat that, so for 2013, the New Jersey native decided to travel down a different gift-giving route.
Before Crawford was born, her mother received a teddy bear as a baby shower gift. The stuffed animal came to be known as Whitey. As a kid, Crawford loved this toy. But the wear and tear that teddy bears go through eventually caught up with Whitey, and he became disfigured, losing half of his stuffing in the process.
Alli sprung into action and took the bear to the Secaucus Doll and Teddy Bear Hospital. The company repairs stuffed animals and other toys. According to the Hudson Reporter, Luis and Ana Casas of Bogota, Colombia, started the company seven years ago.
“No patients ever die here,” Ana once told a customer, as reported by the paper. “They always go home healed and looking fit.”
In a video of Crawford opening her present, Alli notes that it took the hospital about a week to mend Whitey. In addition to replacing the stuffing, the teddy bear needed his head stitched back on, new eyes, a nose, and an ear.
But judging by Crawford’s reaction, it was all worth it.
“Oh my God! Are you serious?” she asks through tears to her fiancé. “I smelled him and I knew exactly who he was.”
The YouTube video has had over 660,000 views, and as of Tuesday, the teddy bear hospital’s official website was inaccessible due to exceeded bandwidth. We wish Vas the best of luck in figuring out what to give Jessica next year.