Home / Inspiring12-Year-Old Girl with Rare Chronic Illness Invents Cuddly Teddy Bear to Hide IV Bag

12-Year-Old Girl with Rare Chronic Illness Invents Cuddly Teddy Bear to Hide IV Bag

 

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Having medical treatment can be frightening—especially for younger patients. To make kids’ hospital stays as scare-free as possible, it’s important to mask the things that make treatment intimidating. In the past, we’ve seen a CT Scanner creatively transformed into a pirate ship and a white ward turned into a canvas for a colorful mural. Now, someone has come up with a way to make IV bags a bit more cuddly—and she just so happens to be a pediatric patient herself.

Five years ago, 12-year-old Ella Casano was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP). Since then, she’s suffered from the chronic illness, which requires her to receive a transfusion every two months. During her first appointment, Casano was alarmed by what she saw—and she quickly realized she’s not alone.

“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 says. “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.”

Medi Teddy is a plush pouch that slips over an IV bag. Intended to look like a little stuffed bear, this simple tool can turn a scary appointment into a more “bearable” situation by replacing the fluid-filled sack with a friendly face. The best part? The back of Medi Teddy is made of mesh, which means doctors or nurses can check on the bag without issue. It’s a win-win!

After discovering the benefits of Medi Teddy for herself, Casano decided to manufacture it for the masses. She and her family set up a GoFundMe page to pay for the costs, and have seen over $20,000 in donations—a pleasant surprise for the preteen.

“We thought if we were lucky, we would raise enough money to help 500 kids get a Medi Teddy for free,” her family wrote on the page. “We figured we’d be delivering crates of Medi Teddys to hospitals in our community and that many might refuse us. Never in a million years did we expect the outpouring of world-wide support and desire for Medi Teddy!  You guys knocked this out of the park and we are so grateful!”

When Ella Casano was just seven years old, she was diagnosed with a condition that required her to have a transfusion every eight weeks.

 

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To make the experience more enjoyable, she invented Medi Teddy, a plush pouch that turns a scary IV bag into a friendly stuffed animal.

 

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Now, she hopes to give these cuddly bears to other pediatric patients.

 

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Medi Teddy: Website | Instagram
h/t: [Reddit, ABC 7 NY]

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