12-Year-Old Girl with Rare Disorder Creates Teddy Bears that Hide IV Bags for Young Patients
Ella Casano, a 12-year-old Connecticut girl who regularly receives an IV for a rare autoimmune disorder, recognized the stress that can come in this environment for a kid and decided to create something that would make it less intimidating. She made the Medi Teddy, a stuffed animal pouch that hides a young patient's IV bag. The back of the pouch is mesh and allows for a nurse or doctor to check on the fluid or medication a child is receiving, while the front is a friendly face. The Medi Teddy, a stuffed animal pouch that hides a young patient’sIV bag, pictured alongside 12-year-old Ella Casano. The Medi Teddy, a stuffed animal pouch that hides a young patient's IV bag, pictured alongside 12-year-old Ella Casano. Casano wants to give them away to children in hospitals at no cost. “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,” Casano states on the product's website. “As I saw more and more children experiencing the same feelings, I became more interested in creating a friendlier experience for young IV patients.” At age seven, Casano was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, or ITP, a disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. People with ITP have an usually low level of platelets, which are the cells that help blood clot. Most children recover without treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic, but Casano is a rare case in that her diagnosis has never gone away. As a result, every eight weeks she spends the day at an outpatient clinic getting an infusion of IVIG, a medicine that helps increase the number of platelets in her body. Without the treatment, Casano can't do normal activities like sledding, soccer or riding her bike when the platelets are low.