How many people have regarded on the rising COVID-19 circumstances in our communities and puzzled, “What can I do to assist?” Eighteen-year-old Taft Foley III turned that thought into motion, beginning his personal cellular COVID-19 testing lab.
Foley bought the urge to assist after watching movies of 9/11, which occurred earlier than he was born. “The one factor that caught out to me essentially the most was that, as one of many towers fell and the mud rose, you would see folks operating away from the hearth and the hazard. However there have been additionally folks operating towards the constructing,” he says. Including, “This scene profoundly influenced my sense of obligation, honor, and braveness.”
Final summer season, at simply 17 years previous, Foley III grew to become the youngest EMT in Texas. He cared for a lot of desperately sick COVID-19 sufferers at the back of an ambulance. “It was fairly scary,” he says. “They had been in very dangerous form. Folks had been virtually unable to breathe in any respect.”
After he accomplished the scientific portion of EMT coaching, Foley III needed to get a COVID-19 take a look at. He famous the 3- to 4-hour waits on the state’s testing facilities, and the two weeks it took to get his outcomes. “Throughout these 2 weeks, I used to be quarantined. I mentioned, ‘There must be a greater approach.’”
He raised $60,000 (by promoting his classic comedian books and online game assortment, doing yard work within the neighborhood, amongst different issues), which his father matched, and used the cash to purchase a van and testing provides. Whereas ending his senior yr of highschool, he spends 20 hours every week working in his Texas Cellular Medical Labs automobile, bringing 15-minute COVID-19 exams to anybody within the Houston space who wants one. He prices a $150 price to those that will pay. A portion of that price goes to fund free exams for the aged, homeless, and veterans in the neighborhood. To this point, the enterprise has offered greater than 4,000 free exams. “I’d prefer to assume that I’m having a huge impact — making the Houston space just a little bit safer,” he says.
As for all times after highschool, he has a formidable listing of potential faculties: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton. “I’d prefer to change into a trauma surgeon or plastic surgeon,” he says. “So long as I can save lives and assist different folks, I’ll be a cheerful particular person.”
WebMD Unique: Our 2021 Well being Hero Will get Private
Who’s your hero?
My father, as a result of he was in a position to break the cycle of poverty he was born into to change into a profitable particular person.
For those who may do something to assist others, what would you do?
I might begin instructional applications to tutor and mentor youth, to assist break the cycle of poverty in African American communities.
What’s your dream job?
I might really feel fairly achieved and completely satisfied if I had been in a position to enhance the lives of others utilizing medication.
What do you do to calm down?
I prefer to sleep, learn, and discuss to my pals.
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