ST. LOUIS — A former patient from Shriners Hospitals for Children returned to the hospital to make a special donation.

Ashleigh Bentz, who uses a prosthesis, donated nearly 600 Barbie dolls with prosthetics and wheelchairs to patients.

“I broke my Barbie dolls legs so they would look like me. my mom hated that. drove her nuts. she spent her hard-earned money on Barbie doll. I would turn around and break it because they wouldn’t look like me but now they do,” Bentz said.

“My sister bought my Barbie for me around my birthday and I’ve kept her on my desk since then,” Bentz said. “Growing up, the only way my Barbie looked like me was if I broke her leg off. I can’t imagine what having one (with a prosthetic leg) would have done for my self-esteem back then.”

Bentz got the idea from a girl in Massachusetts.

READ MORE: Teen donates more than 600 Barbies with prosthetics like hers to hospital

Connor Maine, a patient at Shriners, is one of the patients who received a doll.

“I’m going to give the Barbie doll to my sister because it means so much to me because it gives an idea to my sister no one is the same everyone is unique,” Maine said.

Elysse Applegate is from Uganda and received a doll that’s so much more than a toy.

“I love this place, everybody been so nice to me. the doctors and everybody the nurses I love this place,” Applegate said.

“Thanks to Ashleigh and her team, our hospital’s Barbie needs are more than fulfilled,” said Laura Teague, director of Recreational Therapy. “We will have Barbies to give patients for years to come!”

For more information on Shriners Hospitals for Children, click here

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