Family loses toy elephant with son’s ashes inside during Disney trip | US News

A family lost a toy elephant with its son’s ashes inside during a trip to Disney World in Florida.

Gabryel Atkinson died before the trip to Florida spending time in the ICU after undergoing more than 50 surgeries and procedures.

His toy elephant, Bruce, was given to him during his hospital stay and he “slept with it every night” according to his mother, Liz Atkinson.

The US-based Atkinson family kept Gabryel’s ashes in a small pouch, placed inside the pouch on Bruce’s back.

Toy elephant Bruce with Gabryel's ashes inside
Photo: Liz Atkinson/Facebook

While traveling to Disney World, the bereaved parents took Bruce and Gabryel’s ashes with them, in an effort to pay their respects while also celebrating the birthday of their surviving son, Sebastyan.

Ms Atkinson has now launched a “desperate” plea on Facebook after realizing the stuffed animal was no longer with them after returning home from visiting Florida.

The keepsake, which she and her husband kept “in bed” with each other before the holidays, was nowhere to be seen after searching “everywhere” and “every bag.”

She feels “sick” and is “struggling to sleep” after the loss, she added.

In her social media appeal, Ms Atkinson listed the places the family have traveled and stayed, after she said she had called each one, including filling out a lost and found form on By Disney page – yet there was still no sign of Bruce.

The mother admitted to having difficulty remembering simple tasks while traveling due to her grief for Gabryel and the “hectic” nature of the family vacation.

However, she recalled that Bruce was with them on a parasailing excursion to Cocoa Beach in Florida, with Sebastyan keeping the toy on the boat.

He said, “This is where the journey gets fuzzy in my memory due to emotions and pain. Looking back, I don’t remember Sebastyan taking him back to our vehicle.”

With the help of the Cocoa Beach Marina, though, the mom was able to confirm that the elephant had made it to their car and then to their next destination of Disney Springs Resort.

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He now believes it was lost at The Palazzo Hotel nearby or at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (AOA).

Mom added: “[Bruce] either it fell on the orange parking ramp, somewhere at the Palace or if it arrived in AOA – potentially it got mixed in with the bedding that was changed by housekeeping.

“If you’ve found Bruce or seen him in any of these places, please PM me!!! I need him.”

His plea, released just a couple of days agoreceived more than 10,000 shares and more than 700 comments.


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