Maxine Daniel of Durham, England wanted to make Christmas 2015 one to remember.
When it came time to choose gifts for her family members, she knew exactly what to get for her Nana Lilly: a Baby Annabelle doll.
“My Christmas gift to my lovely Nana Lilly (who sadly has dementia) was a Baby Annabelle doll,” Daniel wrote on Facebook. “Her reaction is a joy to see and melts my heart.”
Lilly, who suffers from dementia, was overwhelmed with happiness when she was given the doll.
“Her dementia was progressively getting worse to the point that she had forgotten most family members, and her mannerisms became more childlike,” Daniel told the Daily Mail. “So I thought maybe a doll would help to keep her mind occupied. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”
In a video Daniel that posted on Facebook, Nana Lilly can be seen caring for the doll and treating it like a human baby. She cradles, sings to, kisses and hugs the doll with tenderness. When it makes gurgling noises, a smiling Lilly rocks and burps the doll. She even keeps it wrapped tightly in a crocheted blanket.
“I did originally tell her it was a doll, but it made no difference,” Daniel said. “She saw a baby.”
Daniel told the Daily Mail that before dementia, her grandmother was “the most caring and loving person.” She said her grandmother loved children.
“She now has a sense of purpose and sits singing, kissing and talking to ‘the baby,'” Danial said. “We can interact with her better, and her mood is transformed.”
According to the Daily Mail, Daniel has been contacted by multiple universities that want to use the video to demonstrate doll therapy to nursing students.
The video has been viewed millions of times and liked more than 86,000 times.