Extraordinary People

Teen girl invents teddy bear covers to hide IV bags from sick kids

Ella Casano fell ill aged seven and wanted to help other children going through similar experiences.

A girl who is still in school has shown an entrepreneurial flair that would impress even the hardest judges of the Dragon’s Den panel.

Ella Casano, 13, has invented the ‘Medi Teddy’, a cuddly bear that hides intimidating IV bags for sick kids in hospital.

After falling ill when she was just seven, Ella became all too familiar with the sight of medical equipment and wanted to help other children going through similar experiences.

Ella was diagnosed with autoimmune disease, a condition in which the immune system attacks the body as it cannot differentiate between foreign cells and healthy cells.

Consequently, Ella will need treatment every eight weeks for the rest of her life.

The treatment involves an IV bag (intravenous bag) with medicine or blood inside being transferred into the body – which is when the idea of Medi Teddy was born.

Speaking about her idea, Ella said: “When I had my first infusion, I was surprised and a 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 IV patients, so I created Medi Teddy.

“I hope that Medi Teddy helps you just as much as it helps me.”

The bears – which are machine washable and come with a price tag of $20 (£16) – are to be bought by individuals rather than by hospitals to share around patients.

Cleverly designed, the Medi Teddy slides up the bottom or over the top of a regular IV bag, does not interfere if bag changes are required in one sitting, and allows medics to easily monitor medication visually through its mesh panel.

Ella says her aim is to take the stress away from treatment by adding comfort to medicine, and continues to help children improve their wellbeing during IV infusion.

For more info, visit Medi Teddy.

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