Hospital stays are plain unpleasant, especially if you’re a kid. And especially if you have to have intravenous therapy, otherwise called an IV. That scary bag filled with liquid dripping down a tube going into a (insert faint feeling here) needle stuck in your hand or arm can be the stuff of which nightmares are made.
Ella Casana, 12 years old, knows this nightmare-inducing scenario well. Because of her chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, or ITP, an illness that kills the platelets in her blood, she must have an IV treatment every eight weeks. The disease has no cure, and this regimen is the best way to control it.
Because she is very familiar with how scary the process is, she was inspired to create a way to soften the procedure for other kids in similar situations.
Her invention is called the Medi Teddy, and it looks like a cute teddy bear plush except for a hole in the back designed to hide IV bags or bottles.
On the home page of the Medi Teddy website, Ella posts:
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 has a patent and a manufacturer lined up, and she and her family are raising funds to start filling orders for her sweet bears. Once the IRS approves her paperwork, she plans to give 500 bears away to hospitals treating children through her 501(c)3.
To raise funds, her family established a GoFundMe campaign.
And, wow! Ella reports her original fundraising goal has been completely blown away in the past few days. People all over the world have responded, and now she’s looking to make many more Medi Teddys available to children, adults and pets worldwide.
What a fantastic and friendly way to spread a little cheer to those enduring, gloomy hospital stays.