The Comforts a Doll Brings – My Life as a Doll Doctor





As I am always telling my blog readers…”Every Doll has a Story” and some I just love to share. Now….not every story is sparkles and fluff….but they always touch me in some way. A lovely woman sent me some pictures of a doll that once again was so loved…and sadly so broken–that when I saw the pics my heart just sank.

Denise explained that way back in 1945 she became so very ill with what she called “Double Bulbar Pneumonia” and was actually very close to death at the time. She was hospitalized and placed in an oxygen tent. Can you imagine the fear in a young child separated from family, feeling so ill and frightened? Denise’s father worked with some kind-hearted men who got together and sent her this special doll to comfort her and hopefully get her through this horrible lung infection. It is the one thing that really brought a smile to her face–and of course the one thing about the entire event that brought her a special kind of comfort. Once she was well….Denise spent many years making lovely gowns and clothing for her special doll. After many years…. love took their toll on this Effanbee Little Lady–so much so that even Denises’ brother tried to help with glue, splints and black electrical tape! Denise also repainted lips and eyebrows when they began to wear away! Their work bought this dolly a bit more time….but sadly she still needed some major help. After many years…the poor broken dolly was packed away….gone–but never quite forgotten. When Denise found her doll again she sent me a letter describing how she wrapped each piece in clean white socks for safety. Can you feel what this doll actually meant to the owner?? Now….you will see how this dolly fought her way back…much like Denise did in 1945!  

After removing all the black tape, sanding all those areas and using the proper glue….she was ready to have her paint touched up. I did remove all the nail polish that Denise lovingly applied to lips…and even removed the added on eyebrows. The lips and brows were re-painted with the colors original to the doll for a softer look. A vintage mohair wig was located from the correct era too! She also sports a new sculpted finger…The only thing actually replaced on this doll was the wig!!

Denise Doll going Home….

Denise received her beloved doll back a few weeks ago and I received an email from her….and a box of candy followed!

Dear Noreen,  I actually got the doll on Tuesday and she is beautiful! Today I got you a little token of my appreciation so watch for it.You really did a great job and I told everyone about the doll.  They couldn’t believe it. They actually said the before pictures were gruesome. Thank you so much for dressing her.  She looks so cute!  And I do love her hair!  You took special care of her, you really did.

Thank you again and have God bless you.

Yours sincerely, Denise

It’s sweet memories like these that we ned to preserve!! Keep an eye out for my next blog as Jenn and I plan on a little tutorial showing some super easy fixes on Evangeline Ghastly!!


You can ask Dr. Noreen your doll repair or care question:

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click to find our more about the Tonner Doll Hospital

8 responses to “The Comforts a Doll Brings – My Life as a Doll Doctor

  1. What a touching story! How wonderful that you were able to repair such a well loved doll! She looks so beautiful!

    I love reading your posts Dr. Noreen! They are always so full of emotion and show how much you care about dolls and the people who love them! You truly are a miracle worker! Its so nice to read about someone who loves their job so much and brings such joy to others! :-)

    Maria B.

    1. Thanks so much Maria! You made my day….I always hope the blog is enjoyed….but never really know unless someone comments.
      You are so right about me loving this job—I can not even imagine me doing anything else.
      If there is ever a topic that interests any of the blog readers–please feel free to let me know….I do love “doll talk”!
      Thanks again, the Doc

  2. This is such an impressive restoration; the doll is beautiful after your repairs. The wig you chose suits her so much too. Enjoyed reading about your medicine Doc, delivered with a huge dose of kindness!

    1. Thanks Maxine…..this job was quite special for me knowing how much it meant to the owner!! Many times the owners will tell me why the doll is so very important to them—I always find it so interesting..

    1. Thanks for sharing that link! I loved all of the pics for that doll hospital…and may have learned a few new ideas for organizing doll parts! Suzie’s story was a bit sad—I would have found a curly wig for that dolly for sure! I hope our readers get a peek at that link…very cool!

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