A 15-year-old schoolboy turned his own bedroom into personal protective equipment (PPE) factory that produces face shields for healthcare workers. In an effort the contribute to the Coronavirus fight and support frontline workers in his own little way, the schoolboy has been using his personal 3D printer, which he got from Christmas, to manufacture the medical equipment.
PPEs all for free
Harry Cooper, a 15-year-old schoolboy from Middlesborough, will be handing out his 3D-printed safety equipment to healthcare workers for free. He has been raising money for his 3D printing materials through donations from the public. According to Cooper, his goal is to continue to produce the face shields for those who desperately need personal protective equipment.
Cooper has already gathered at least 100 orders from healthcare workers such as shop and dentist assistants, community workers, and healthcare assistants.
Cooper told Daily Mail that "I have the printers and have been using them to make the bands that go around your head. I enjoy making things and like a challenge, so it was a no brainer to help key workers out at the same time. We have about 100 going out to community carers and care homes, and I just wanted to do my bit."
Harry's mother, Donna, a school teacher from Middlesborough, North Yorkshire, also said that "[Harry] was like a dog with a bone when he realized he could help with the shortage of protective equipment. He did his research and when he figured out he could make visors for people he jumped at it."
The entire family has been supporting him
His father, Nigel, has also been helping him manufacture and pack the equipment along with his brother and sister, Alfie and Emily, respectively.
Donna also added that they were just waiting for the needed materials to arrive, and then it will pretty much become a nonstop production line for the whole family. Both parents agreed that they would help their son deliver the equipment to whoever needs one locally. Everyone will be all hands on deck since all they want is to help in any way they can.
Harry has also written his customers notes saying that he will try to shop for them whenever they need him. Donna has also expressed how much they are proud of their son and that they will do everything they can to support him.
Public Health England has stated that any kind of clinician working in a hospital, community care, or primary care who is sitting within two meters of a confirmed or suspected coronavirus COVID-9 patient should always wear an apron, eye protection, surgical mask, and gloves.
The UK government advised that this can all be achieved using a surgical mask with an integrated visor for a full face shield, polycarbonate safety spectacles, or anything equivalent. They have also added that regular corrective spectacles are not considered to be adequate or acceptable as eye protection.
Just like the nose and mouth, the eyes contain a mucus membrane that can serve as a passage to the rest of the body for the SARS-CoV-2. The virus may enter through these membranes if the person touches his or her face after close contact with an infected person or a contaminated surface.
Cooper isn't the only one making DIY face shields for health care workers. Daniel Mooney, a 32-year-old computer game company worker in Dublin has also been using his own 3D printer to make the same equipment. He told Irish Times that his team can print about at least 75 protective visors each day.