Young Inventor Helps Kids Find Comfort in Hospitals
** OGTV's final KIDSBIZ Playlist story of the week is about a young girl who redirected her fear from a hospital stay into the creation of a device that makes these visits a little less scary for other kids in the same situation. **
The only good part of a hospital stay is the end of it – the moment you go through the doors and know you are heading home. As stressful as this can be for an adult, it is exponentially worse for a young child. Ella Casano was one of those kids suddenly plucked out of normal life by an unpronounceable diagnosis and thrust into a daily routine of painful treatment, fear-stricken parents and the prospect of long periods away from home. Though she was really scared, she saw her situation from a kid's "how do I beat this" perspective and envisioned something that could make the experience just a little bit easier for herself and others like her.
Ella's diagnosis was Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura or "ITP", a blood disease that was destroying the platelets in her body. While many children who get diagnosed with this disease grow out of it after a few months, Ella has a rare case of it, and it's never gone away. Without treatment, Ella is at a high risk for bleeding or injury which means she can't play sports or do certain activities like sledding, biking, or even normal PE class. Every 8 weeks Ella spends the day at an outpatient facility getting an infusion of IVIG, and often misses school due to post infusion illness and doctor appointments.
When Ella had her first infusion, she was surprised by how intimidating the amount of tubing and medical equipment was and how scary her IV pole looked. As she saw more and more children have the same fears, she decided she wanted to do something to make IV treatment an easier experience for other young patients.
"I had a project in school called the "Invention Convention" so I needed to come up with an invention," she recalled. "I kind of thought about something unique to me that other kids might not be able to come up with so I thought of a problem related to ITP."
Ella's invention, the Medi Teddy, is a stuffed animal pouch to conceal bags of IV medication or blood products from pediatric patients like her who might be feeling scared in the hospital. After some positive feedback from her own doctors, Ella ran with the opportunity.
Watch and discover how Ella's school project has grown. With GoFundMe donations of over $24,000 and marketing and business guidance from her parents, the smiling Medi Teddy is poised to become a comforting, happy face on kid's IV poles that should make their time in treatment a bit more bearable.
Learn more at: https://www.medi-teddy.org/
See more amazing KidzBiz stories here!
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