Florida

A special stuffed bear was left at Busch Gardens. The family hopes it will be returned

Screengrab of Facebook

A day at Busch Gardens has left a family without one of their valuable belongings, a stuffed pink teddy bear that reminds them of their daughter who died as an infant.

In a post to a Tampa yard sale Facebook group, Will Gamez asked the Tampa community for help finding the stuffed bear and returning it to his family.

Gamez wrote he and his fiancee were at Busch Gardens Saturday when they lost the bear.

It’s not just another stuffed bear. Gamez wrote they got the pink, fluffy toy after their daughter died.

Gamez told FOX 13 he purchased the bear on the day his daughter Laylah was born last year. The baby’s older sister loved the bear, too.

But Layla became sick, her liver and kidneys were failing, Gamez told ABC Action News. Laylah was just 3 months old when she died.

“When she passed away in June, we kept the bear. We put it on the shelf and then her sister wanted it. So we let her sister have it and every time she would look at it, she would say, ‘Sissy, Sissy,’ and it would make her feel closer, I guess,” Willian told FOX 13.

When the family went to Busch Gardens Saturday to celebrate their daughter Calista’s second birthday, the beloved bear went, too, according to WTSP.

But they lost it, likely somewhere around the Falcon’s Fury ride, according to ABC Action News.

They tried to look for the bear, WFLA News Channel 8 reported, but could not find it and no one has turned it in to the park.

“I know to some people it’s just a pink bear, but to us it’s more, it’s Laylah,” Gamez told WTSP. “And we miss her so much.”

Sara Nealeigh covers what’s happening in the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto, Florida for the Bradenton Herald. She previously covered breaking news for the Herald after moving to Florida from Ohio in 2016.
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