When Krish Patel first got his 3D printer, he cranked out little figurines and knick-knacks. The results were fun, but he soon found a far greater purpose for the machine — producing PPE.
Krish, 16 and a West Salem High School student, was inspired by his sister, who mentioned the medical university she is attending has been making face shields for frontline workers. After contacting St. Clare Health Mission of Monroe County to see if they had any need for face shields, Krish went to work. Spending his own money on materials and using a CDC approved design, he produced 11 shields in around 15 hours, dropping them off at the nonprofit clinic March 2.
“That he invested so much time and effort for us and our patients is heartwarming,” says Dr. Michael Saunders, physician lead for St. Clare Health Mission in Sparta, which serves adult patients without health insurance or the funds to pay for medical care. “It showed initiative on his part, an awareness of need within the community especially in this time that we’re affected by COVID.”
Previously, Saunders says, “We were using safety glasses, which aren’t nearly as effective, so this will give us a greater level of protection. This was definitely an improvement over what we had for our volunteers.” Staff and volunteers also wear masks on the premises.
Krish, who has an affinity for science and technology and aspires produce other needed items for nonprofit medical or dental offices, says it felt good to deliver the donation.