As the son of two paramedics, Kentez Craig grew up with a strong desire to help others in need.
The graduate student at Georgia Tech’s school of mechanical engineering knew he had the knowledge and skills to make a real difference for health care workers fighting against COVID-19. So when an opportunity presented itself, he dove right in!
In March, Kentez teamed up with Georgia Tech faculty members and other students to design face shields and other personal protective equipment to help with the national shortage.
“I saw nothing better I could do to give back to people like my mom, my dad — who have been working in emergency services — and first responders on the real front lines of this,” Kentez told NBC News.
A week later, their team had produced more than 5,000 face shields to distribute to Atlanta hospitals.
The shields are comfortable, effective, and can last for weeks, even after frequent cleanings with disinfectant. Plus, they can be mass-produced. But the group’s efforts didn’t end there!
Kentez has spent the last two months creating more medical equipment, including a ventilator and a foldable intubation box to protect doctors and nurses.
While patients who need to be intubated are sedated for the process, involuntary reflexes can cause them to cough. With an intubation box, those respiratory droplets are stopped before they reach and potentially infect health care workers, which ultimately saves lives.
So far, the Georgia Tech team has sent 200 intubation boxes to hospitals around the country. What’s more, almost 2 million face shields have been created from their design!
As you can imagine, Kentez’s parents are thrilled to see him accomplishing so much.
“Words can’t express how proud I am,” said his dad, Kenneth. “It makes me feel wonderful because he’s saving my colleagues in the field.”
Jackie, his mom, added, “It brings me to tears, joyful tears. Whatever joy he’s brought us is far greater than we could have ever given him.”
While Kentez insists first responders and health care workers are the real heroes of the pandemic, he’s definitely among them. After all, his work is helping save lives!
Learn more about his efforts in the video below, and share this story to spread the word.
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