Florida woman launches search for teddy bear made for mother of drowned toddler

(WESH) – Melissa Woodward is searching for a very special bear.

Woodward was like a grandmother to toddler Kaleb Hanscom, who drowned in Deltona, Florida three years ago.

She had a teddy bear made by hand, dressed it in some of the child’s clothes and gave it to his mother to comfort her.

“I’ll buy it back from them, whatever they paid for it. I just want to get it back for his mom,” Woodard said.

The teddy bear is precious to no one other than those who knew and loved Kaleb Hanscom. The 20-month-old boy drowned at his aunt’s Deltona home on Labor Day 2014. The toddler slipped away during a family gathering and got through a hole in the pool fence that the dog had recently torn up. In the aftermath, Woodard, who helped care for Kaleb, arranged for the bear to be made.

“I wanted to have something for the mother so that when she missed him, she could hold on to it and feel like she was close to him and feel like he was there,” Woodard said.

The mother of the boy who drowned ran into some trouble as she grieved his loss. She had placed his belongings, his mementos, in a Sanford storage unit. Then, due to financial issues, the contents were auctioned off before she could stop the process.

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