A 12-year-old girl has come up with an ingenious little toy to ease the anxieties of young hospital patients just like her.
Ella Casano was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura when she was just 7 years old.
The disease means that Ella’s blood doesn’t clot normally and she generally has a very low amount of blood platelets. Despite how the disease generally goes away over time, Ella has never healed from the condition.
So in order to replace the amount of platelets in her bloodstream, Ella receives a special treatment that is delivered through an IV drip every 8 weeks.
Unfortunately, Ella was always intimidated by the atmosphere of her Connecticut hospital – and she often felt anxious going in to get the IV treatment.
That’s why she invented the Medi Teddy: a sweet stuffed teddy bear toy that can hide the front of a child’s IV bag. That way, instead of seeing a plastic hospital bag filled with mysterious liquids and medications, a young patient can look at a smiling toy friend.
“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,” says Ella. “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.”
Since Ella and her family created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the Medi Teddy’s manufacturing, they have surged past their goal and raised almost $20,000.
The family is now trying to launch a nonprofit around the Medi Teddy so they can give away the toys away for free.
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