Longtime Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC) labor and delivery nurse Kay McKenzie Gustafson spent much of her retirement attending craft fairs, selling teddy bears wearing various outfits under the guise of “Kay’s Collectibles.”
When she passed away in January, she had numerous plastic bins full of brand new teddy bears, from tiny ones a few inches tall to much larger stuffed bears. Her daughter, Kristen Dimock, wanted the bears to have a good home, so she contacted LVMC.
Her mother, who worked at the former hospital site from the early 1970s until her retirement in 2000, would have loved the bears to be used by the hospital, Kristen said.
Now, Kay’s bears will be enjoyed by residents at the Comprehensive Care Center, but also passed out as part of LVMC’s toy comfort program to young patients who are being treated in the Emergency Department, Operating Room, and Medical-Surgical unit, as well as those having blood work or diagnostic imaging tests.
Kay was born in Guadalupe and graduated from Pasadena City College School of Nursing in Pasadena in 1962. While in labor and delivery, she delivered multiple generations of babies.
LVMC is grateful to Kay’s family for the donation of the bears, which will help ease the fears and pain of children in the hospital.