Innovator: Taft Foley III

How many people have regarded on the rising COVID-19 circumstances in our communities and questioned, “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 obtained 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 probably the most was that, as one of many towers fell and the mud rose, you may see folks working away from the fireplace and the hazard. However there have been additionally folks working towards the constructing,” he says. Including, “This scene profoundly influenced my sense of responsibility, honor, and braveness.”

Final summer time, at simply 17 years outdated, Foley III turned the youngest EMT in Texas.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 unhealthy form. Individuals 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 check. 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 stated, ‘There needs to 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 12 months of highschool, he spends 20 hours per week working in his Texas Cell Medical Labs automobile, bringing 15-minute COVID-19 checks to anybody within the Houston space who wants one. He fees a $150 price to those that will pay. A portion of that price goes to fund free checks for the aged, homeless, and veterans in the neighborhood. To this point, the enterprise has offered greater than 4,000 free checks. “I’d prefer to suppose that I’m having a big effect — making the Houston space somewhat bit safer,” he says.

As for all times after highschool, he has a formidable record of potential faculties: Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton. “I’d prefer to turn 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 individual.”

WebMD Unique: Our 2021 Well being Hero Will get Private

Who’s your hero?

My father, as a result of he was capable of break the cycle of poverty he was born into to turn into a profitable individual.

In the event you might do something to assist others, what would you do?

I might begin instructional packages 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 comfortable if I had been capable of enhance the lives of others utilizing medication.

What do you do to chill out?

I prefer to sleep, learn, and discuss to my buddies.


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Taft Foley III, highschool pupil, founding father of Texas Cell Medical Labs.

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