1.) She works at preserving memory while her husband loses his. Ana Casas repairs dolls and teddy bears worn by time and love. Her husband Luis lives nearby in a nursing home, where he suffers from Alzheimer's.
2.)Patients at the Secaucus Teddy Bear and Doll Hospital often come in with broken legs, torn dresses or caked in dirt. Some survived dangerous journeys across the country's border, while others were forgotten and rediscovered after years of neglect. But they all have one thing in common: a story.
Ana and Luis Casas moved to New York from Bogota, Colombia and opened the shop when the New York Doll Hospital closed in Manhattan.
When Luis learned he was losing his memory, he asked Ana to keep the hospital open even if he couldn’t run it anymore. He was 55 and had developed Alzhemier's disease. Slowly, his memory declined and he had to stop working. He now lives in a nursing home near the hospital and Ana visits every day. She tells him about her day, and the customers that came in, even though he gives no sign that he understands her.
Luis comes from a family of doll doctors who run a doll hospital in Colombia. When he and Ana arrived in New York, they first worked for Irving Chais, who ran the New York Doll Hospital. Luis always loved his work, and when Irving died, he opened his own business in Secaucus.
When Luis got sick he started to forget basic things, like how to put on his shoes. He said ‘yes’ to every customer at the doll hospital and took on too many projects. He wanted desperately to keep working- to help preserve others' memories as his slipped away. Now, Ana runs the shop with her sisters and daughter. She says she will continue to work at the shop till the day she dies.
Teddy Bears and Dolls Need Doctors Too: The Business of Preserving Memories
TEDDY BEAR AND DOLL HOSPITAL: Nobody Dies Here, Anyway
A: They really come in a critical condition, very very bad. But we take care of them. Nobody dies here, anyway.
A: Behind every teddy bear or every doll there is a story always. Some sad, some happy. And I love- I love the work here. Oh my god. I hope I can do it for many years more.
A: Dolls are important to people because um especially for children. They get
very attached. I think dolls and teddy bears give security.
A: My husband is ehh is the the pioneer in this business. This was a his dream. And he was a our teacher. He taught all of us how to work with the teddy bears and the dolls. He was a very good doll doctor.
A: He was losing his memory slowly.
A: In this picture, he already show symptoms of the dementia.
A: He has a teddy bear that he loves his teddy bear. He kiss him. And he goes like this and he really shows a lot of sentimental for him. He cannot sleep without the teddy bear.
A: There is a connection, a very big connection about the- his work and the teddy bear that he has right now. I think there is a big connection.
A: I always when I find that he recognize me a little bit, uh I think that he's going to recover. And and I keep the hope inside of me that maybe tomorrow when I come back, he's going to be much better. But it's very sad because sometimes the next day that I go he's the same.
A: And I think I’m not going to get accustomed to that. I think I’m not. It very hard for me. It’s it's- I cannot believe it. You know? I cannot believe it. I cannot believe it. He’s younger than me, five years. And people when we got married they said, well the women gets old more quickly than the men. He’s going to take care of you, because of course. They were wrong.
A: But I told my daughter I’m going to die in this place. After I die right here you can close or do whatever you want to do. But I want to keep it open. That’s what my husband wanted always.
5.) Short doc about elderly couple, one with Alzheimer’s: vimeo.com/61805936
Old article about the New York Doll Hospital: nytimes.com/1990/12/06/garden/where-to-find-it-where-dolls-go-when-they-re-sick.html
Another video about a husband caring for his sick wife: huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/what-is-love-video_n_2680280.html
6.) Tweet: twitter.com/Alyssa_Pagano
Blog Post: hostofahearing.tumblr.com/post/141240218612/i-loved-meeting-ana-casas-owner-at-the-secaucus
7.) Poster Frame
8. )Places to pitch: The Atlantic, Aeon