After a procedure at Singing River Health System a few weeks ago, seven-year-old CeeJay lost his beloved stuffed animal. But tonight, Singing River and the community came together to give CeeJay a surprise he’ll remember for a long time.
Singing River Health System pulled out all the stops to reunite CeeJay Pankey with some of his friends. “I just saw a police car over there and I was like oh my gosh.”
A few weeks ago, CeeJay hurt his left arm while playing at a friend’s house, requiring doctors to put two pins in as well as a cast. Following CeeJay to the hospital was his beloved stuffed animal, a dog named Cracker. However, once they got home, CeeJay and his family ran into a problem. Anthony Waltman, CeeJay’s father, said, “Once we got to the surgery room, Cracker went into surgery with him, but once we left the surgery, from the time we left the surgery to the time we got to the car, don’t know where he went.”
After extensive searches from the Singing River staff and CeeJay’s family, an appeal to find Cracker was made on Facebook, resulting in an outpouring of support from people as far away as California. “The hospital got in touch with us immediately. They’ve been in touch with us the whole time. They called us every time they had a situation or just to do checkups.”
That’s when Singing River jumped into action, complete with a police parade in front of CeeJay’s house, a visit from the K9 Jester, and a new stuffed animal named Cracker complete with a journal of his adventures around the hospital. Singing River Health System CEO Lee Bond said, “Hopefully the little book we put together of the journey of his puppy through the hospital will be something that he’ll treasure for a long time.”
Now, CeeJay and his family plan to make new adventures with a new friend. “We’re going to take a whole bunch of trips. We’ll take more pictures to add to your book.”