A brave Scots boy, who endured years of operations, has been reunited with his long-lost teddy bear.
Little Archie Braidwood, 10, was distraught after he lost his beloved childhood companion, Boots, five years ago.
But after years of searching, the 10-year-old from Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, has finally been reunited with his furry friend.
Thousands of people across the world responded public appeal to find the owner of a lost teddy bear by the ARCHIE Foundation’s play team at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
The three month search for the true owner of the bear eventually reached Archie who had lost the bear at B&Q five years earlier.
Archie was born with a minor birth defect which he has gone to hospital for four times for corrective surgery since he was born.
His mother, primary school teacher Sheena, 44, said her son used to go everywhere with the bear.
She said: “It’s quite amazing, we got goosebumps when we saw the post on the ARCHIE Foundation’s Facebook page and immediately recognised the bear.
“We both got really emotional because he just said ‘that’s Boots, that’s my bear, mummy’. There were tears and I got emotional because I could see how much it meant to him.
“It was the same bear that Archie had loved for five years when he was little but unfortunately lost it when we were shopping for Christmas decorations in B&Q.”
“We went back to look for Boots but couldn’t find the bear. Archie was distraught. His dad had to say to him that someone else was looking after and loving Boots and that was the only way we could get through it.
“Archie never forgot about the bear. He named the pet cat after Boots, every time he went to school and was asked to bring in his favourite toy he was always heartbroken that he didn’t have his real favourite.
“Even at the age of 10, he’s still a sensitive soul. When we saw the post we knew had to contact them and try to adopt the bear. When we went to collect the bear it looked 10 years old and well loved.
“Archie’s had several operations at the children’s hospital, and I follow what the ARCHIE Foundation does online because of all the work it does for the kids at the hospital.”
Archie was ecstatic to be reunited with Boots after five years apart.
He said: “It was really emotional and amazing to finally have Boots in my arms after so long. It was him, it was definitely him. It was a well loved bear and everything I ever wanted.”
“I don’t think I’ve put it down since I got him back and was able to hold it again while I was sleeping.”
“I’ve tried to replace Boots but it never really felt the same. I thought I’d never see him again. It feels like he’s been loved a lot over the years.
“I’m going to give him to my children one day and hopefully Boots can be around forever and I’ll hold on to him tighter than ever.”
David Cunningham, ARCHIE’s chief executive, said he was delighted to hear that his team had managed to track down the owner.
He said: “We have to first thank the play team at the RACH for rescuing the bear and bringing him to us.
“We don’t know where he has been all these years but our appeal reached tens of thousands of people across the globe.
“We even had contact from people in America and Australia offering to rehome him.
“Given that his owner is called Archie, maybe the bear found us rather than the other way around.”