Missing stuffed animal at the university hospital Lost teddy is back with its owner

Venusberg · Andreas Riebe was in the university hospital for eleven months. His teddy bear Theo always accompanied him. He recently lost him on the grounds of the hospital. But in an amazing way he has now got him back.

 Andreas Riebe and his teddy Theo are reunited. Ute Thiemann helped him. Photo: Benjamin Westhoff

Andreas Riebe and his teddy Theo are reunited. Ute Thiemann helped him. Photo: Benjamin Westhoff

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Three days after Andreas Riebe lost his teddy bear, the phone rang. It was his 87-year-old mother on the line. "Listen, your Theo is in the newspaper - on page 26," she said. Teddy Theo had given Riebe strength during his eleven-month stay at the university hospital - as a companion to countless examinations and operations he had to undergo due to liver damage.

"It was unbearable - always yet another operation," says the 59-year-old about his time in hospital. Almost a year ago, he collapsed at home, only able to slur his words. His wife suspected a stroke. Then it turned out: Riebe suffers from a rare autoimmune disease, as a result of which his liver was also damaged. "For eleven months it was a question of whether I would survive," he says.

Theo accompanied Riebe during his time in the clinic. "I tried to take him everywhere with me," he says. Even when he was driven by bed to the examinations and had to wait there with others. "Many of the people were full of fear until Theo lifted his head and waved at them," Riebe says. "Some of them then beamed.“

Lost the teddy on the grounds of the university hospital

Then in September, Riebe got a donor liver, for which he only had to wait ten weeks. "Normally it's six months," he says. A fortnight ago, he went back to the university hospital for another check-up. He had the bear with him this time too, because he wanted to make other patients happy again. He had put it in the rucksack of his wife Ulla, who accompanied him. Theo looked out the top. "I've been transporting my bears like this since I was a child," says Riebe. On the way from the clinic to the car park where the Riebes had parked their car, however, the bear got lost.

Ute Thiemann found it there. Her husband is also a patient at the university hospital. "I thought the teddy has to go back to the owner," says Thiemann. She also recalled how she had once lost her teddy bear when she was four years old and how terrible the experience was for her. "He looked a bit worn out. I suspected that he was very important to someone," says the 66-year-old.

So Thiemann turned to the General-Anzeiger, which published a "missing person's report" including a photo. "I really hoped that the action would be successful," says the finder. A few days later, the Riebes got in touch. When she got the call, she was very happy, says Thiemann.

Owner gets his teddy back

The day before Christmas Eve, she met with Ulla and Andreas Riebe at the university hospital to hand over the stuffed animal. Thiemann said she was happy to house and care for the teddy. To prevent it from getting lost again in the future, she had previously bought a harness for puppies at a pet shop. That's what the Riebes got, along with Teddy.

Theo was then able to spend the holidays in good company. "Brummi, Frieda, Henry, Filou," Andreas Riebe lists the names of his other bears. "I always believed that I would get Theo back," he says. "I even gave him a tender hug today."

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