Girl scared of IV bags creates teddy bear covers to hide them from young patients
By Kristelle Bechayda
A 12-year-old girl from Connecticut has found a way to help sick children feel more at ease in hospitals.
Ella Casano was only seven years old when she was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP), a type of disorder where one’s immune system destroys its platelets.
While the platelet count for an average person amounts between 150,000 to 450,0000, Ella’s go below 10,000. To compensate, she has to be infused with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) every eight weeks.
Providing a friendlier experience for young IV patients
On her website medi-teddy.org, the 12-year-old recalled how her first infusion intimidated her.
“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,” she wrote.
Realizing she isn’t the only child going through the same challenge, Ella became interested in providing a friendlier experience for other young patients.
View this post on Instagram
These photos are of me getting IVs at the hospital in 2015, when I was 8. I remember feeling afraid of the look of the medical equipment. Thank you to everyone who donated to Medi Teddy. We are almost half way to our goal of helping 500 kids in the hospital who might feel this way too. #medi_teddy #yalenewhavenchildrenshospital #kidsinhospital
This inspired her to create Medi Teddy, which is a stuffed animal pouch that conceals an IV bag. While a friendly face can be seen on the front, the back of the pouch is a mesh, which still allows doctors and nurses to check on the fluid or medication in the bag.
500 free Medi Teddys on the way
Ella’s Medi Teddy product has been patented and the first 500 orders have already been placed, and will be given for free to other children, thanks to those who donated in the GoFundMe campaign that Ella’s family has started.
“We are so incredibly thankful for your generous support and encouragement. You have all made it possible for Medi Teddy to place its first order of 500 Medi Teddys which will be distributed at no cost to children in need!!!!!! We hope this is just the beginning, and you will all be able to say YOU made this possible. From the bottom of our hearts – thank you!” the Casano family wrote.