Girl with rare disease invents teddy bear covers for IV bags

When 12-year-old Ella Casano received her first intravenous infusion, she found the medical equipment intimidating but she was going to need the treatment every eight weeks, for the rest of her life.

Ella had just been diagnosed with a rare chronic illness and needed to find a way to cope with the confronting experience she needed to live.

The creative girl got to work and created Medi Teddy, a cute teddy bear with a pouch that slides over an IV bag, concealing medication or blood products and making them look “friendlier.”

The Medi Teddy (left) and 12-year-old Ella Casano (right)
Ella Casano (right) wanted to make 500 Medi Teddy's to donate to children going through IV treatments. Source: Medi Teddy

Ella has Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP), a rare condition that destroys vital platelets in her blood.

While most children grow out of it, Ella is still battling.

Without the IVIG infusion every eight weeks, Ella is at high risk for bleeding or injuries, making it hard for her to play like healthy children.

The treatment takes an entire day and Ella requires steroids for a week after each infusion, leaving her feeling “pretty crummy” and she often misses school for the treatments.

When Ella realised how much her Medi Teddy helped her, she decided all sick children should have one.

A front and back photo of the Medi Teddy.
The Medi Teddy conceals IV bags, making them less confronting to children. Source: Medi Teddy

“I hope Medi Teddy helps you as much as it helps me,” Ella wrote on her website.

The Connecticut youngster started a GoFundMe page to raise the amount needed to produce a minimum of 500 Medi Teddys with a manufacturer.

At the time of publication the page had exceeded her target of $7,250, bringing the total to over $15,225.

Ella plans to donate all the Medi Teddys to children going through treatments in hospital.

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