Being in a hospital for treatment can be a stressful experience for anyone… most of all for children. Seeing needles, intravenous bags and various medical equipment can also add to this stress. When parents and caregivers see their little ones feeling afraid during treatment, it can be heartbreaking.
12-year-old Ella Casano is quite familiar with this experience, as she has had to regularly visit the hospital every 8 weeks to be connected to an intravenous bag for treatment of her chronic illness.
Ella has been diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, also known as ITP. ITP is a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting. While there is no known cure for her rare disease, it can be treated.
Having to visit the hospital multiple times each year, Ella understands how scary it can be for children to be hooked up to an IV. Yet she discovered a way to make the experience less frightening, and has since been using it to help other children who need similar IV treatments.
Ella designed the Medi Teddy, a teddy bear with a mesh pouch on its back that can hold either IV bags or bottles.
“When I had my first infusion, I was surprised and a little bit intimidated by the look of the amount of tubing and medical equipment on my IV pole,” Ella writes on the Medi Teddy website.
“As I saw more and more children experiencing the same feelings, I became more interested in creating a friendlier experience for young IV patients, so I created Medi Teddy. I hope that Medi Teddy helps you just as much as it helps me!”
Ella has a patent and the New England Toy Company agreed to be the manufacturing company for the Medi Teddy, but she needed a minimum order of 500 units before the company can create them.
To help support Ella’s dream, her family created a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $5,000. Kind people from around the world have already helped her meet and exceed her original goal by donating over $17,000 in the first 5 days of her campaign.
Her family is in the process of applying for approval from the IRS for Medi Teddy to become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Once the Teddys have been made, Ella plans to give them all to children just like her going through treatment needing IVs in hospitals.
Rather than being frightened by the sight of medicine or blood, hundreds and eventually thousands of small children will soon instead see the face of a cute and smiling teddy bear.
Watch this brief video to learn more about Ella’s compassionate invention:
You are Loved.