Five-year-old Brycen Perina was rushed to the E.R. Wednesday when he was having trouble breathing.
"That is when they checked his oxygen levels and they weren't high enough, they were too low,” said Brycen’s father Michael.
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Brycen was put into quarantine in the I.C.U. as doctors began treatment and did a Coronavirus test.
"You go into worse case scenerio and there was nothing I could do to help. So instead of sitting there and really doing nothing I was going through the previous couple days in my head on ways to help," said Michael, who owns a 3D printing company called Assembyl 3D. He typically makes marketing materials and had previously appeared on NY1 for printing a new prosthetic arm for a nine-year-old Staten Island boy. Now he has turned his focus to making protective medical gear. With the help of the non-profit Staten Island MakerSpace, he came up with a plan to print plastic face shields.
“We have these machines that can almost make anything. Or they can make anything plastic," he said. "They can be very out of the box. Why just let them sit here going on used for how many weeks where we can get ahead of the curve We can help someone."
Perina started a Go Fund Me page to raise money for materials and has already started printing. Small business owners jumping into action is just what Governor Cuomo is asking for. He says, “If you are a business that doesn't manufacture these exact items but you have equipment and personnel and you believe you could manufacture these items they are not that complicated.”
While Perina says the face shields are not as critical as the N95 masks that are in demand he knows they will help.
"This is really on the lower spectrum of what they should be using but it is a step above a handkerchief or going fully unprotected," Perina said.
Perina is hoping to produce 120,000 face shields a month. This as Brycen is now home from the hospital testing negative for coronavirus, but recovering from pneumonia. Perina says this experince has made him even more determined to help.
"We could potentially make parts for a ventilator. We can do things that will actually save people's lives,” said Perina.
He is now looking for medical equipment experts to collaborate with.