Thanks to Prince William County School Board Chair, Dr. Babur Lateef, for sharing this story:
I called them at 10:30 AM 4/8/20 because they love 3D Printing. I asked them to see if they could 3D print face shields for healthcare providers. They are on a national backorder like many of our supplies.
By 6 pm that evening they had a prototype ready to go and were mass producing them the next day. They connected with Sentara Northern Virginia in Woodbridge (who by the way has the most COVID patients in the county)and Michele Eckhardt, (Physician and Community Relations and a member of the PWCS SPARK Foundation Board) and made these donations get into the hands of healthcare providers 48 hours after my initial request.
The silver lining of this pandemic is that people are working together in ways we have not seen in a long time and the world is singularly focused on one problem. Thank you to the Lawson and Carr families!
I have shared Jessica Lawson’s post which tells the story as well and shares the pictures.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and remember that the next generation of leaders are young folks like this! That only leaves optimism in my heart for OUR futures!
This post is both about me, and it isn’t. It is about giving back, and the connections of community. It is about love and selflessness. It is about compassion and hope.
Almost nine years ago to the day, my life was saved by physician Alidad Arabshahi and his team at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. I had undergone surgery for papillary thyroid cancer, and when Dr. Arabshahi opened me up, he discovered that the cancer had spread far more than scans and biopsies had indicated. For more than six hours, he battled against the monster at war inside of me. And he won. To this day, I cannot think of Dr. A without crying. He has given me nine years and counting on this earth, nine years with my friends, with my husband, and with my three babies.
This past Wednesday, our phone rang. It was our family friend Babur Lateef, himself a physician and the chairman of the Prince William County School Board. Dr. Lateef knew that our son Max is a 3D-printing enthusiast, and he was calling to ask for Max’s help. Like medical facilities worldwide, our area hospitals and doctors’ offices are facing an extreme shortage of personal protective equipment for use against COVID-19. Dr. Lateef asked if Max could print face shields for use by Sentara employees.
Max, of course, was all in. He quickly reached out to his friend and business partner, Ethan Carr. (Many of you will remember how Max and Ethan achieved local notoriety with their 3D fidget-spinner business a few years back.) Ethan also was only too happy to help. He, in turn, enlisted the assistance of friends Solomon Ralston and Aidan Patterson so they could maximize output for the hospital.
Today, these four young men made their first delivery to a very grateful Michele Eckhardt, who handles Physician & Community Relations for Sentara and is our liaison for the project. When I spoke to Michele yesterday, I told her how grateful I was for the opportunity to give back to the hospital that had saved my life. “Your son and his friends will now be saving lives,” she responded.
Last night, I remarked to Chris about how incongruous it seems to send medical professionals into battle using shields made by 16-year-olds. But, when you think about it, it speaks to the strength and fortitude of humans the world over when faced with adversity throughout time. We pitch in, stand shoulder to shoulder, work hard, and come up with unconventional and beautiful ways to, for lack of a better phrase, “get ’er done.”
If you know of anyone who would like to help print for this effort, please contact me. If you would like to donate money toward the purchase of 3D filament and other supplies for this venture, please PM me for PayPal information. Thank you for your support!