EUDORA, KS (KCTV) — We’re all adjusting to a new normal and, for many, that involves changes at work. For one local woman, her job has taken a very unexpected turn.
Inside Kania Shain’s home is a 3D printer. It’s supposed to be in her classroom at Eudora Elementary School. However, when schools were forced to close due to COVID-19 she brought it home.
“My students are doing projects on it,” she said.
Boy, is she glad she did because this week she got a request that had her getting more creative than ever and it didn’t come from a student.
Rather, it came from a nurse practitioner at Neucare Family Medicine in Lawrence.
“She actually is one of the parents of my students in fourth grade,” Shain said.
The team at Neucare is doing curbside coronavirus testing like most healthcare facilities across the country. The clinic, owned by Dr. Ryan Neu, is running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks.
“We’ve basically had to get really, really creative,” Dr. Neu said.
“Using a full-face snorkel mask,” he said. “The snorkel part usually goes here.” They’re using a medical grade filter instead, but it doesn’t quite fit.
“So, we had to look around for someone who had a 3D printer,” Dr. Neu said.
Shain got the call and dove right in. Now, she’s printing adapters that attach the filter to the mask.
“I never thought that we’d be using it for this for sure,” she said. “I’ve printed one so far I have another on the printer.”
Dr. Neu tried it on and it works. He can now test patients and conserve PPE.
“I really do enjoy snorkeling but I never thought I’d be wearing one in the parking lot of my clinic,” he said.
So, let this be your reminder: Whether you’re the doctor on the front lines or the teacher in front of the classroom, a lot of good can come from working together.
Kania got the design to print the adapter from a scuba company in Italy called Ocean Reef. They are offering the design for free to anyone to help protect the lives of those on the front line. That can be found at oceanreefgroup.com/covid19.