SPOKANE, Wash. — Michelle and Will Armstrong have started a company creating stuffed animals for children in the NICU.
Born two months early, their son, Finn, spent nearly 60 days in intensive care.
Not being able to have close contact with her son gave Michelle an idea that would bring them closer together.
“One night I was lying in bed just overwhelmed by all of it and was just praying for somewhere to direct my thoughts instead of just feeling guilt and grief,” she said.
Named after her son, Finn the Panda was designed to bring comfort to parents whose babies are spending extended amounts of time in the hospital.
The stuffed animal is black and white, which are two of the first colors that babies can process.
On its belly is a spot to hold a piece of cloth. A parent wears that fabric underneath their clothing to get their scent, then attaches it to the toy.
There is also a voice recorder, where a parent can record up to a minute of their voice.
“I want Finn the Panda to be that conversation starter for parents to know that even if they don’t have medical degrees, they still have healing powers for their children,” she said.
Michelle and her husband have processed orders for 1,000 bears that are ready to ship out.
She said most of the bears that have been purchased have been given as gifts to parents with children in the NICU.
To purchase a panda, you can contact Finn & Co. on their Facebook page