Being in the hospital can be an unpleasant experience for anyone, especially for children. The sight of intravenous bags, needles, and other medical equipment alone is enough to make them feel stressed out. And for parents and caregivers, seeing their kids in such a fearful state while receiving treatment for their health issues is especially heartbreaking.
12-year-old Ella Casano knows this all too well. That’s because she visits the hospital every 8 weeks to be hooked up to an intravenous bag for treatment of her chronic illness.
Ella has been diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. ITP is a “bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting.” People with this disease have extremely low platelets in their blood.
Unfortunately, there is still no known cure for this disease, but doctors say that this condition can be treated.
Having to go through it multiple times in a year, Ella understands how intimidating it can seem to be hooked up to an IV. So, she found a way to make the experience less scary for other children.
The girl designed the Medi Teddy, a teddy bear with a mesh pouch on the back that can hold intravenous 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. 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 wrote on the Medi Teddy website.
Ella already has a patent for and a manufacturing company, New England Toy Company, for her product. However, the minimum order needed is 500 units.
To help raise funds for her venture, Ella’s family started a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of collecting $5,000. There has been an outpour of support for the project, as the fund has already collected nearly $11,000 of donations!
The family is in the process of applying the company to get an IRS approval to become a 501(c)3.
All the money raised will be dedicated to making sure that Medi Teddy is run properly and for the manufacture of 500 teddy bears, which Ella will give away to children going through treatment in hospitals.
Instead of the being overwhelmed by the sight of medicine or blood inside the IV bags attached to them, the kids will see the smiling face of this cute teddy bear!
Watch the video below to learn more about Ella’s invention.
If Ella’s story has inspired you, be sure to spread her mission. Share this story to your friends and family.