DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Going into surgery can be scary, especially for a child. One little girl knows that fear firsthand, and she is using her free time to help comfort other kids at a Dallas hospital… one monkey at a time.

Emily Hough and her sister love sock monkeys. Hough and her family make the monkeys by hand, and have been donating them to the children at Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. The stuffed pets provide a source of comfort for the kids before they are wheeled back into surgery.

“It was one of those things where they wanted something that we could actually make, and something that boys and girls could receive,” explained Hough’s father. “So, in this case, sock monkeys seemed to be the obvious choice.”

Hough has been treated at Scottish Rite Hospital for the past couple of years. The 7-year-old girl was a patient at another hospital, but her illness was still a mystery after several tests. Then, the right doctor came along. “A rheumatologist from Scottish Rite happened to be there and suggested that we come over here. So, we did,” Hough’s father said. They identified her disease as one that only affects three out of 1 million children.

At one point, Hough was confined to a wheelchair and had to undergo several surgeries. She was given a doll to comfort her during that operation, and that is what gave her the idea to start making sock monkeys for others. To date, she has given out about 200 sock monkeys.

“It really is the highest compliment when the patient’s family gives back to us,” said Stephanie Brigger with Scottish Rite Hospital. “We really appreciate all that Emily and her family have done for us and look forward to all the fun and exciting ways that they’ll continue to be involved in the hospital.”

“It makes me extremely proud, very proud,” said Hough’s father. “She’s very selfless.”

Each sock monkey takes about three hours to make. The family will hold an event on Saturday, hoping to make 150 sock monkeys in one day with some help from volunteers.

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