Girl with Rare Disease Invents Teddy Bears That Hide IV Bags so Kids Don’t Get Scared

Ella Casano is the inventor of “Medi Teddy” and we are not talking about an adult inventor, but of a 12-year-old girl. This was her school project with a sole purpose to make the time spent in hospitals more comfortable to other children.

Ella became a frequent visitor of hospitals since she was 7, when she was first diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP). This illness is a result of the malfunction of the immune system that by mistake attacks and kills platelets, which are cell fragments that help blood clot. Due to her illness Ella had to have IV infusions every six to eight weeks, a process that started when she was just 7 years old.

As a little girl she was terrified from the IV infusions but this later became an inspiration for the creation of Medi Teddy. This teddy will help other kids to be less terrified form the IV infusions.

Here it is what Ella wrote on the product’s website:

“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 thought why not to use a teddy bear to hide all those dreadful tubes and instead of looking at them while having your IV infusions you can look at a sweet teddy. The first teddy was made by Ella by cutting up a stuffed animal and then she removed the inside and with a hot-glue gun she created a non-threatening IV contraption. The current form of Medi Teddy is the following one “stuffed animal pouch that covers and conceals an IV bag.”

Naturally, the doctors need to see the medication that the patient receives and because of that the back of the pouch is made with a mesh panel. But, at the front is a smiling friendly face that a child sees and not an IV bag, or med bag or blood. This makes the stay in the hospital less frightening for the child.

The concept for Medi Teddy was set when Ella needed an idea for an established education programme “invention convention” at her school, Timothy Dwight Elementary in Fairfield, Connecticut. The idea that later on became a US patent was supported by Ella’s mother who created a business plan. But Meg Casano did not make this as a part of lucrative business, but in fact she strongly objects of paying for such teddy, especially not coming from the pocket of a sick child. Therefore, she and Ella launched a GoFundMe so that Casano could place her first order of 500 units. These units are supposed to be gifts to children like Ella. But, thanks to the enormous response the foundation quickly surpassed their goal, earning double the amount.  Meg Casano once again emphasized that these teddies are created only to make the time spent in hospitals more comforting for these sick children. She said:”We really want these to just be a gift to the child.”

In the beginning the Casanos’ plan was to offer the Medi Teddy to the hospitals, but this product has become so popular among people that they are already contacting them to purchase Medi Teddy as a gift to a child of need or to purchase it for the medical facilities. Due to this high demand they are working diligently for their first order, but it will still take three months for the Medi Teddies to be ready for use. Meg said the following: “I wish we had them right now and we could mail them to every single person.”

Ella’s Grace

Meg is a proud mom of Ella who aside the real hardships in her life starting from a young age she was very graceful during the whole process. “She really has gone through so much over the years. She never complains. She never does. She just goes, she does it, and she has such grace about her.”- said Meg.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/48637034

https://www.simplemost.com/girl-invented-adorable-teddy-bears-to-cover-iv-bags/

https://www.newsweek.com/iv-cover-medi-teddy-bear-1444632