MIA traveler who lost teddy bear at age 4 returns, meets good Samaritan

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - An international traveler got the opportunity to say thanks to an airport employee for a kind gesture she made nearly three decades ago: replacing the stuffed animal she had lost as a girl.

Now in her 30s, Nikki Carney always travels with her teddy bear. She said the plush animal brings her comfort.

“No, I’m not traveling alone. I have Brown Ted here with me,” she said.

When she was 4 years old, Carney got separated from her favorite stuffed animal while passing through Miami International Airport.

“I was on a trip with my parents. They said I was devastated to have lost my bear that was so special to me,” she said.

Nikki Carney

Carney’s parents sent a letter to the airport, but the teddy bear never showed up in lost and found.

So airport officials enlisted a little help from Santa. “I received Brown Ted with a letter saying Santa Claus had my old bear and that Santa was sending me a new bear,” said Carney.

Carney named her new bear Brown Ted, and the two have been inseparable ever since.

MIA employee Dickie Davis remembers that time very well. “I do remember it. I remember trying to find the cutest bear we had at the time, that didn’t have an owner,” she said. “I didn’t want to take it away from somebody else, but this little guy didn’t have an owner.”

Carney, a performer who has entertained audiences all over the world, said she and Brown Ted have circled the globe together. “He’s traveled everywhere with me, all over — London, Europe, Asia. Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia.”

On Sunday, Carney returned to South Florida to thank the people who gave her a best friend.

“I’m so happy that Miami International Airport gave me this bear when I was so young. and it really made a difference in my life,” she said.

“I think it’s really important to know that some small thing you do might make a huge difference,” said Davis.

After their South Florida stop, Carney and Brown Ted are headed to Dubai.

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