Hospitals are scary places, especially for kids. Ella Casano knows that all too well: Five years ago, the 12-year-old from Fairfield, Connecticut, was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP).
Some children outgrow ITP but Ella hasn't been so lucky. So every eight weeks she has to get an IV infusion, an experience that filled her with anxiety.
"When I had my first infusion, I was surprised and a little bit intimidated by the look [and] the amount of tubing and medical equipment on my IV pole," she wrote on her 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."
So she cut up a stuffed animal, grabbed a hot-glue gun and created what would become the first "Medi Teddy," a stuffed animal pouch that covers and conceals an IV bag.
- By Daniel Avery for Newsweek.com. Photo courtesy of Meg Casano.