RIO RANCHO (KRQE) - A metro-area family is trying to keep their daughter and sister's memory alive by comforting sick children with a teddy bear legacy.
Megan Dugan's death at almost 21 months old was a shock. Her mother, Jennifer, said Megan was twirling and dancing through the family's house the night of Feb. 23. The next morning, Dugan went to wake Megan and her twin brother, Matthew.
"I went in there, and that's when I found her," Dugan said. "She had passed away a while before. She was our little princess of the family."
Megan died in her sleep a few months shy of her second birthday.
Dugan said the Office of the Medical Investigator didn't determine a cause of death. The Dugan's are waiting on final test results this week, but said the toddler's death might remain a mystery.
Megan lived for 640 days; now her family is hoping something good comes out of their loss. The Dugans hope to bring in 640 teddy bears for kids at UNM Children's Hospital, one for each day Megan was alive. People can purchase a teddy bear through Mama Bear's Place to provide comfort to sick children. Since this spring, close to 400 bears have been donated in Megan's name.
"I do wish that we had been given an opportunity to make Megan better," Dugan said. "If there was something that we could have done, so for the children that are in the hospital, I hope that a bear will help."
Dugan said if Megan were still alive, she would give each sick child a hug. Now there's a teddy bear in the toddler's place.
"I think that Megan would be happy with that," Dugan said.
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