8-Year-Old Collects Stuffed Animals To Comfort Grieving Children

Suffering a personal loss, especially the loss of a parent is something we adults find difficult to deal with, leave alone a little eight-year-old girl.

Marlie Walker is a brave little girl who has been through a loss personally and knows how a simple gesture can have a profound effect on the lives of children.

Her father, Cody Walker, was in a motorcycle crash this summer and had to be rushed to the emergency room at UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

While they all were in the emergency room that day, a UCHealth nurse, Reatha Blumenthal, gave Marlie a stuffed toy to comfort her.

“We try and make them feel as at ease as we can and try and take some of the scary aspects out of being here. We understand how difficult it can be,” she said.

That nurse’s simple act had a deep impact on Marie and in the months that followed, she felt inspired to help other children who were in such trauma and loss situations. In honor of her father, earlier this month, she launched a campaign called Stuffies for Emergencies.

“I want to help kids who are going through hard things like me. I want the nurse to give them a stuffed animal too,” said Marlie.

Her goal is to collect more than 500 new stuffed animals for children at the emergency room of UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and she has had a tremendous response as people ended up donating a total of 616 stuffed animals.